Last week we heard from Terry Poole, bass guitarist, singer and founder member of that terrific 1960s blues band Bakerloo. Formerly Bakerloo Blues Line, they were the original house band at Henry’s Blueshouse and probably the finest blues outfit to come from this locality.
So we were delighted to hear from him again, in response to my questions regarding the stellar occupants of the Bakerloo drum chair.
I did enjoy wandering down memory lane.
Glad I still have one
The first drummer with Bakerloo Blues line was John Hinch in 1967 (John later founded Judas Priest in 1973).
John came from Lichfield and had a van and PA. Lots of musicians back then were asked to join bands because they had sound equipment. Ozzy Osbourne, Earth/Black Sabbath, joined Earth because he had a PA system.
Everyone was broke in those days and couldn’t afford very much at all. I think John had a job in Lichfield and didn’t want to turn professional. Can’t say I blamed him.
We played together until November 1968 when John left and was replaced by Tony O’Reilly (former drummer with the Liverpool group the Koobas). Tony lived in London and had a beautiful girlfriend with an apartment in Grosvenor Square in Mayfair, and wasn’t too keen on touring and being away from London and its social life.
I liked Tony, he was an outstanding drummer and was sorry that life on the road was no longer of any great interest to him. Again, couldn’t say I blamed him!
Pete York (ex Spencer Davies Group) joined us on the 9th January 1969. Pete was an outstanding musician, completely dedicated to his drum kit. He practised for hours every day.
He drove to our bookings separately to us so that he could continue drumming with one hand and driving with the other! I never fancied being a passenger with him. Pete lived in London and was in great demand as a session percussionist, even playing triangle or tambourine when it was required.
Pete left us just after we played live on the BBC World Service Show introduced by Alexis Korner. I worked on numerous events with Alexis in the early 1970’s, he was a very kind and unique Bluesman.
Bob Lamb, later to become record producer for Duran Duran, UB40, Steve Gibbons and many other Birmingham bands, joined us for a couple of gigs. A good musician and a proper Brummie.
Bill Ward (Earth and Black Sabbath) helped us out on a couple gigs. Earth was our support act for quite some time, so Bill was available to sit in when he wasn’t gigging with Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osborne.
John Poli Palmer was the next drummer up, he had a unique drumming style, he also played the vibraphone. He had played with Blossom Toes, Roger Chapman of Family and Dave Mason of Traffic.
Keith Baker joined on the 14th February 1969. A gentle giant and the perfect drummer for Bakerloo. We did countless gigs together and recorded the Bakerloo Album in May 1969 at the Trident Studio in Wardour Street, London.
After Clem joined Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum, Bakerloo disbanded in August 1969 and Keith went on to form Uriah Heep.
They were lucky to have him.
Cozy Powell jumped on the drum kit at Henry’s Blueshouse one night as one or two others did back then including John Bonham. Robert Plant also turned up jamming before Led Zeppelin.
As for me, well off to London. My adventures had only just begun.