MEMORY OF THE MONTH!
Your contribution about the early days of the Stormsville Shakers could earn you a FREE CD!
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your recollections.
I run the Danger Man website and a favourite episode of mine is called "Not so Jolly Roger" which is set aboard a pirate radio station in the sixties and features many pop songs of the day.
One song was "It's a Lie" performed by Philip Goodhand-Tait and the Stormsville Shakers. I was wondering if anybody knew how this song came to be used in the TV series?
I just wanted to say as a 60's single vinyl collector I really rate the 3 singles you released on Parlophone - great stuff!
The Danger Man Website
PG-T replies: Good to know Patrick McGoohan's spin of "It's a lie" wasn't wasted.
Dear Phil. I hope this finds you well? Also, that you will suffer this long look into our past, and perhaps remember the night we played as a support to you?
My name is William Neal, born in Guildford 1947, now a painter living in Scotland. In the late 60s and 70s I originated and painted E.L.Ps "Tarkus" and "Pictures at an Exhibition" amongst others, at present I am setting up a new web to cover an extended back catalogue of all my paintings, music, and including album covers and posters.
I was an art student with Duster Bennett, Top Topham and Dick Forcey at the Guildford School of Art, though just like Dick, I was far more into playing the Blues and gigging then.
The first time I met you was at the Bramley Village Hall, the band I played in was called the "Smokestakks". I think you came to suss us out, because we were booked to play with you at the Merrow Village Hall Guildford, March 31st, our infamous Art School Party bash. Anyhow, I think you knew Pete Mould and Tony Porter? He said he went to school with you. The problem we had was the stage at the Merrow Hall was too small for all our kit? I recall a good vibe between us because you all kindly let us use your gear on the night, infact, I was greatly moved when you all clapped us prior to your opening set! How times have changed!! Do you remember that night Phil? We certainly do, whats more I was one of the students to do the art school poster for our gig together, which is something I would love to have on my web? I notice on your list of bookings for 1965 you have the date, but not our support? ..........(with the Smokestakks) Could we be credited for a truly splendid night with you? It would tie in well with the poster?. We were a 6 piece blues band and had a love hate relationship with the "Phantom 4 " Andy Latimers first band, infact, the following year we played with them and Hog Snort Rupert, though this time the venue was the Art School Guildford.
Our line up was Tony Porter/Lead Vocals. .........Astolats.......Second Time Out. Peter Mould/Rythm Guitar.........The Bumblies. Roger Allen/Lead Guitar. ........Arfur Fagg and the Dog Ends. Jeff Smith/Bass Guitar........Ricky and the Secrets. Freddie Mills/Drums.........The Road Runners. and myself.
I left shortly after the night we played with you, Ian May took my place as the next Harmonica and vocalist, from I think,..... the Hoochie Coochies, or Bluesology? Heck, all the names of our tough circuit come flooding back, Adfinitum, Primevals, The Just Five, Whisker Davis Blues Stormers, Indian Brave Jug Band, and of course dear Duster Bennett.
We did have a fantastic following on a local level, playing the Village Halls, Pubs, Social Clubs, Dronfields and Wooden Bridge etc... really hard work, and we loved it, had to, it wasn't the money......... £15-00 between the 6 of us!! (This is your cue to say..£15-00! you were Lucky!!!!! we only got...etc)
Our manager was John Hewins, along with Alan Matravers? We didn't go on the road until we could play over 30 numbers, also, the amps and instruments cost us a fortune, all Selmer, Fender Guitars and Shure mikes, something else back then wasn't it.
On a more serious note, I fear there excists no photographic evidence of our existence as a band, though of course I am continuing my search, and have sourced one ticket, some ads and a poster. I confess it would be a really wonderful moment if you recall any of this news, and that we could be credited as playing with you? The night our band is not forgotten, written down in history with the privilige of playing with you all.
My Very Best Wishes
It's pleasure to remember the Smokestakks and Merrow Village Hall.
If anyone has photos, please send them to us and we'll pass them on - PG-T.
Thank you indeed for the song lyrics you have sent me. Why I wanted those?
Simply because these songs are very very beautiful and bring back lots of memories every time I listen to them.
Well, I only listen to “Gone Are The songs Of Yesterday”. This song is very well known in Indonesia especially in 1968-69 when I was in High-School and it was recorded by the Love Affair. (But the first two lines of the lyrics are not in the version sung by the Love Affair).
As for “ Warm Summer Rain” it brings me back to the Netherlands where I stayed between 1970-1975. So somewhere between those years your song entered my head and where it remains even now.
But unfortunately I never could get a cd version and I recall only a few lines of the lyrics. I sing it when I remember them.
Again thank you very much for replying to my email.
Your fan : TOMMY POESORO - Indonesia
I was a schoolboy delivering newspapers on the Bushy Hill housing estate, Guildford and that's when I read of the crash that killed Buddy Holly, the Bog Bopper and Richie Valens. It was front page news and I stood outside a council house devastated until the householder came outside and shouted at me. He wanted his newspaper before he went to work.
P.G-T memory taken from Spencer Leigh's new book "Everyday: getting closer to Buddy Holly" (copies available from www.spencerleigh.demon.co.uk)
Hi Phil - just stumbled upon your site and was immediately transported back to Guildford in the early sixties - magic!
I was at Guildford Art School, and sang and played the harp with various groups. I lived in a shared room in Dapdune Road in the house of Mick Douglas (ex Chris Ravel and the Ravers) and his wife Rowena and baby Kyd. Chris Andrews was doing big things then and used to turn up in flash car with booze for all. One day we all set off with him to sing backings on one of the first Sandie Shaw recordings.
What really amazed me was seeing pictures of Dick Forcey and Greg - we formed a sort of occasional band called 'Fancy Forcey's All-Star Berserkers' at some stage (all a bit vague now!) and I remember belting out Arthur Crudup's 'Lawdy Miss Clawdy' at one gig with Dick, Greg, Mick AND Mickey Eves (Georgie Fame) on bass sax - such good fun till the locals decided to tough up the band!!
You guys of course were the professionals - saw you many times at Civic Centre, Plaza, Wooden Bridge, various village halls etc.. Loved it, loved the rivalry with Rupert and other local bands - you gave us a tremendous amount of fun at a hugely fun time - thanks, thanks and thanks again!
Dear Phil... (I hope you do read this). I'm probably one of the OLDEST fans of yours. My BB (best buddy) Michelle, and I would just about 'stalk' you lot!! LOL! If memory serves, we were introduced at the Lynx Club, Borehamwood... our weekly haunt... we fell in love with you from then... I was in love with Ian btw....
Do you remember one of your early appearances at the Marquee when 2 teenagers 'lay in wait' at the back of the club for you???? OMG!
MARIA, Adelaide, Australia
You asked for recollections about the Stormsville Shakers. How showbiz is this, in the early sixties I worked in the office of the CO-OP bakery Haydon Place. My workmate was Paul Demers the drummer and my everlasting memory was standing next to him after he’d drunk 23 rum and blacks in the Live and Let Live. He was a proud but sick man.
I met Phil once in the CO-OP office which adjoined the Live and Let Live. I was told about their next ‘gig’, so off I went to the CO-OP hall Addlestone. As I was initiated into music via people like Gene Krupa and progressed with Chico Hamilton that was the last time I saw Paul Demers play.
from W REVANS
A monstrous attack on my journalistic integrity has been brought to my attention. The inflammatory allegations contained on page 95 of a so-called “history” entitled “Guildford – Remember When"* are outrageous. Look I’m all for freedom of the press but when writers stoop to scurrilous character assassination, well the line has to be drawn somewhere. To suggest that I used my “journalism skills to flam up the whole episode” is an utter distortion of the events that took place. As the original and therefore official historian of the event allow me to tell you what REALLY happened…
There was a cold wind blowing on that fateful night in 1963 as I strode down North Street from the offices of the Surrey Advertiser towards the Plaza Ballroom. But that was nothing compared to the storm that was brewing inside. Facing each other like snarling dogs across the dance-floor were two of Guildford’s leading groups. Two bands who represented the ying and the yang of popular culture at a time when the future of music as we know it teetered on the brink of an abyss.
On one side the pathetic schlock-pop Shadows-clones known as the Kossacks in their appalling matching suits. Facing them, the fearless leather-clad heroes of the R & B revolution - The Stormsville Shakers. The Battle of the Bands was on!
From my seat on the judges’ panel I carefully scrutinised the performances as the music contest took place. The weight of destiny felt heavy on my shoulders. My fellow judges were lick-spittle lackeys of the decaying pop establishment clearly impressed with the neatness of the Kossaks attire and somewhat taken aback by the brash unkempt appearance of the Shakers. The Kossaks ended their predictable set with their trump card, the tedious pseudo-classical “Hall Of The Mountain King” carefully chosen to highlight the much vaunted dexterity of their lead guitarist. The plebs in the packed ballroom went wild!
Then the Shakers took the stage. With a sneer at the audience from Phill, their lead singer, the band unleased a torrent of rockin’ R & B that brought the house down.
Despite their obvious popularity the Shakers represented a frightening leap into the unknown to my fellow judges. I could tell from their frowns that their votes would favour the predictable Kossaks – perhaps each by a slim margin. It was clear to me that the destiny of music was in my hands. As I looked down at my voting card two visions of the future floated before my eyes.
In one the Shadows danced their mindless stage steps while Cliff crooned “We’re all going on a Summer Holiday” again…and again…and again. In the other I saw a world where R & B was king, the true heroes of raw rock n roll revered and British music reinvigorated with soul. I knew what I had to do. Stormsville Shakers 10. Kossaks 0. (Subsequent charges alleging bias on my part are clearly quite at odds with my even-handedness in the matter.)
As to any suggestion that I might have being trying to rub salt in the wounds of the humbled Kossaks by inviting their leader, Dave Brice, to publicly face the humiliation of posing and smiling for the camera while shaking hands with his mighty conquerors, perish the thought. I was simply expecting a display of true British sportsmanship, a quality still alive in those distant days. His response to my request revealed the true nature of those pop-loving bottom-feeders - and I felt bound to report it.
The rest of course is history, my judgement was vindicated in the Grand Final held later that month when the Shakers rode out of Shalford Park the glorious victors.
While not attempting to portray myself as solely responsible for the R & B tide that swept through the country in the following years, at least when my sons ask me “Daddy where were you in the 60’s music revolution” I can look them in the eye and say, “I was there son. I was there.”
I trust the above, an excerpt from my forthcoming book “Guildford – The Way it Really Was” *, leads to a factually correct imprint in the near future.
* "Guildford - Remember When" written by David Rose and Bernard Parke, published Breedon Books Publishing, priced £14:99.
MARK ACKERMAN - now believed to be on a yacht sailing by New Orleans, beloved home of R 'n' B.
Hi, I saw your website and I had to write in because I was present at the College of St. Matthias, Fishponds Bristol on 11th October 1968, when we danced to a band called 'Circus' which was fronted by a very good-looking young fellow called Phillip Goodhand-Tait ( I think he wore something rather fetching in velvet), anyway, I have always remembered one particular song they sang that night which went "Do you dream? Castles in the sky". I never forgot that song, even after all these years I can still remember the chorus which so impressed me. Soon after that I noticed that a certain Phillip Goodhand-Tait was credited with writing some major hit songs for The Love Affair and I remembered the band and Phillip appearing at my college. A very happy memory of that era for me. Cheers. Sue Brown, Hertfordshire
SUE BROWN, Hertfordshire
PG-T commented: "Where's that 'something rather fetching in velvet'. Don't say I threw it out with my kaftans, smoking jacket and suede-buffer." Well at least the song "Do you dream" will be available later this year along with other CIRCUS material. Watch this site!
Hi, just found this web site. I had not forgotten the Stormsville Shakers. When I was a teenager in Guildford they used to play at the Charlotteville youth club all the time. I was learning to play bass and they were a huge influence on me. They had a great way of rocking back and forth on stage and Ivor was a fantastic player. The bass player had a very unusual bass guitar. I think it was home made with a very thin neck. Then I saw it for sale in a shop at the botton of the High Street but could not afford to buy it but that's the story.
Frank Ayling, Adelaide, South Australia
Kirk Riddle (Stormsville Shakers bass player) recalls: "It wasn't actually home-made, it was a Burns-Weill model. I part exchanged it for a Gibson in Barnes & Avis, Guildford where you must have seen it. I wish I still had it today."
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