ENGLAND - 1962 to 1965
OF ALAN JONES:
Publicity Photo taken in 1964 at Mow Cop, Cheshire. Alan is
on the right with the Stratocaster.
Personnel (left to right)
Dave Pearson - Hofner Colorama II
John Fradley - Vocals
Terry Hall - Framus Star Bass
Alan Jones - Fender Stratocaster
The band was called The Telstars and the members were (left to
right on the photo) Dave Pearson (joined late 63), Terry Hall, John Fradley and
myself. We were christened that by the club that gave us our first booking
in 1962. At the time, school holidays August 1962, we three were just
jamming for fun, then one Saturday night Terry's father announced he had got us
a booking for a fortnight's time at The Safari Lake Club (he'd just come in from
a night's drinking there!). Of course we hadn't got a name so, as we were
completely instrumental and "Telstar" by The Tornados was still in the charts,
that's how we were billed. We practiced furiously and managed to knock
together a dozen or so Shadows numbers and at the gig we played them in
the first session then in the second session we played them again in a different
order. As the only amp was my 8 watt (I can't remember the name) Terry played
rhythm guitar (he hadn't progressed to the bass yet) through it and my lead
guitar was played directly through the clubs PA. This meant that the people in
the other room could only hear me. God knows what it must have sounded like but
we were re-booked. Our fee was £2.10.00! We played at every working men's
club within a 20 mile radius of Stoke and were always re-booked because we
didn't play too loud!
John Fradley was a first class drummer (his father played drums
in a 'proper' dance band) and John would certainly have made it as a pro drummer
- his interpretations of Big B and Little B and the Jet Harris and Tony Meehan
drum solos were immaculate. He was also lead vocals in all our numbers a la
Beatles , Hollies, Searchers etc etc etc.
The last band I was in, and the most successful, was 'The
Lyric' comprising myself John Plant and Jeff Watts. We passed three auditions
for Opportunity Knocks and were virtually assured of an appearance in the next
series but along came New World from New Zealand and we are sure they 'nicked'
our spot. We went on to do cabaret appearing at some of the top nightspots
including The Golden Garter at Wythenshawe, Manchester, with Eartha Kitt, Johnny
Ray, Bob Monkhouse, and The Talk of the North Manchester, which was an hilarious
week with Freddie Starr. We were part of a full cabaret show for a long time and
the star of the show was Tommy Bruce (who we backed as well as doing our own
spots) and there was also a comedian/singer on the bill by the name of Pete
Conway. I think his son is now something in show-business!!
The photo below was take onstage at The Golden Garter. I'm
actually using Jeff's Selmer Zodiac amp. Jeff (far right) is a versatile
chap - he played
rhythm guitar, drums and bass. My contribution to the amp section was my 100
watt Selmer PA amp for the three mikes. John, or Jake as he was usually known, is
playing the Hofner bass - he later switched to a Gibson EB3.
We disbanded on New Year's Eve 1970.
The Lyric at the Golden Garter Club, Wythenshawe,