Front Room Masters

Memories

If you have any memories of Fairview Studios or the music scene during the mid 1960s to the early 1970s then please get in touch and we'll publish your recollections on this page.

Email your stories to frontroommasters@yahoo.com

Mandy and The Girlfriends
Mrs Smith - Manager


Mandy started her career when she was 13 years old - she is a trained singer.

The organist at the Tivoli had been a Professor of Muisc at Oxford University and he took Mandy under his wing.

Mandy started singing with her brother Dennis as Mandy and the Moonrakers.

When they broke up Dennis put together Mandy and the Girlfriends witth Karen and Leslie and Dennis as road manager. They were very popular and the first all girl band in Hull.

Then Hilary and Leslie joined them making them five. When Linda left to form a boy group Margaret took her place. Then Merl took Karen's place.

When doing gigs down south they were approached by a London agent and signed up with him.They toured Germany in 1963-64 (where they recorded an album) but Mandy was taken ill and they returned home and that was the finish of Mandy and the Girlfriends.

Mandy now lives in the West Indies where she has a restaurant and three houses. She very rarely comes back to England.

Roger Bloom's Hammer
Pete Mcleod - Drummer


Originally working as The Mods, the group changed its name to Roger Bloom's Hammer when Ian and Chris were added on trumpet and tenor sax respectively. Through Fairview Productions a recording contract was obtained with CBS Records.

Although scheduled to be released as the first single Life's a Gamble was in fact released as the B side of Out of the Blue - a more exciting and clever number but probably less commercial than Gamble. Nevertheless the record received wide airplay on a number of pirate radio stations and was plugged particularly hard by Radio 270 moored off the coast of Scarborough. Despite the plays the number didn't chart although its follow up - Polly Pan appeared at number 35 in the Radio London charts in July 1967.

The group was extremely popular live throughout the North of England with occasional forays to venues such as Tiles Club in London's Oxford Street.

Roger Bloom and Chris Fairbanks left the group in 1967 to be replaced by John David Parker (ex Peyton Checks) and Darryl Adams and the band became known as The Hammer. At the end of 1968 Bob Cranswick left along with Mike Brooke, Peter Green and Peter Mcleod. They were replaced by Geoff Ramsdale and Stan Saye from Ways n Means and John Howden. The group toured throughout the UK, Holland and Germany under the management of Peter Mcleod until mid 1968 when Ian Gray and Daryll. Adams left to be replaced by Rod Temperton (Grimsby) on Keyboards. A recording for this contract was secured with DJM Records (Dick James The Beatles publisher) and a great album was made but never released as DJM were by then working with a new artist called Reg Dwight and they decided to throw their resources behind him. He later did quite well under the name of Elton John!.

John David Parker went on to have hit records in Germany and became a very successful record producer.

Rod Temperton went on to join Heatwave (Boogie Nights) later moving to America and working with Quincy Jones and co-writing the album Off The Wall - including Thriller - with Michael Jackson. Today he is one of the most successful songwriters in the world.

Roger Bloom's Hammer
Pete E Green - Bass

The band were born out of Tony Martin and the Mods. The band were invited to produce a demo tape at Fairview Studios recording songs written by Keith Herd, Barry Patterson and Rick Kemp. These songs were originally sent to Harold Shanpam (of Film Music Ltd) to secure a publishing deal for Fairview Productions. Harold liked the sound and suggested the group record them again at Sound Techniques Chelsea with Keith Herd producing.

Six tracks were laid down. The first release on CBS was Out of the Blue with Life's A Gamble. The second was Polly Pan with 15 Temperature Rise as the B side.

Jerry Page

Musicians at the Front Room sessions were Keith Herd, Rick Kemp and Barry Patterson. I don't remember who played what! The demo is much better than the version recorded at Sound Techniques in London for CBS - it's about time people heard it as it should have been! The demo was recorded at Fairview in Autumn 1966 - I know because I was at Flying College in Oxford from January 1967. CBS released it in April 1967.

I started writing again for folk clubs in 1989 and since the early 1990's have been running Footlights concerts at the local village hall - I do the warm up and compere. In 2004 I released the album Postcards from Australia.

The Strollers
Phil Barber - Bass


The band were all school friends at Longcroft Secondary Model School in Beverley. They played locally and also in the West Riding and Nottinghamshire. The band played an assortment of music including The Beatles and The Beach Boys and later on Cream and Hendrix. They played support on various occasions to top line groups of the day including Hendrix and the Small Faces at The Skyline in Hull.

Around 1965 Pete Cuthbert left the band and was replaced by John Burgess on drums and Gavin Dixon emigrated to Canada and was replaced by Laurie Burnett on lead guitar. Norman Cowie went professional for a while with Sugar and Spice - a cabaret band. The band eventually finished around 1968 at which time vocalist Dave Park also emigrated to Canada.

Unfortunately Dave Cuthbert died in a motorcycle accident and Laurie Burnett passed away through cancer. As for the rest of the band Dave Parks is alive and well and is close to retirement in Vancouver; Gavin Dixon lives in Vancouver Island and still plays in a blues band; Pete Cuthbert lives near Pocklington and plays occasionally; Norman Cowie lives a peaceful life in Dorset; John Burgess is still going strong but playing bass though he still plays the drums as and when required; Phil Barber still lives in Beverley and sometimes has a go if he gets the chance...

The Rats
John Cambridge - Drums


The song The Rise and Fall of Bernie Cripplestone was written at my parents house one night when I tried to get the group to write original material as The Beatles, Stones etc were all writing their own songs. Mick Ronson came to our house with his guitar one night and said that he had an idea based on the chords from Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles.

I wrote the lyrics, and at the time decided it was going to be nothing to do with love songs. The 'Rise and Fall' came from The Shadows' Flingel Blunt and I'd just seen John Lennon in a film called How I Won the War. His character (I think) was called Bernard Gripweed, so the name was based on that. The coal man was our coalman in Hull - Herbert.

ABC
John Cambridge - Drums


ABC formed in September 1966 from the remains of The Gonx (Steve Powell, John Rowe, John Cambridge). The first gig was at the City Hall, Hull on Saturday 17 September. We did a variety of covers from Tamla, blues, pop and one original song LSD written by John Cambridge and Steve Powell.

The band's name was given to them by Steve Marriot of The Small Faces after the group met him backstage after a gig. ABC eventually supported The Small Faces at The Skylline Ballroom in August 1967. The band finished in October 1967.

Kaine's Kulture
Rod Yeoman - Guitar\Vocals


The band was formed in early 1967 by Mike Caine who was originally from London. Rick of Steeleye Span fame was going to manage the band but Pete Mcleod took over. The band lasted about 12 months before Mike returned to London and Keith Howland replaced him on vocals.

The Axe
Roger Bloom - Vocals

Axe were formed by the replacement of my brother Harvey by myself and then we went pro gigging around the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Israel. We finished in around 1971(?) when I realised the band were going nowhere.

When we appeared at the Top Ten Club in Hamburg we played until 3.30 in the morning alongside another band called The Boston Showband featuring Paul Gadd on vocals. When we eventually returned to England he was Gary Glitter and in the charts. There are lots of stories, some funny, some unrepeatable....

The Hammer
Stan Sayes - Bass

By late 1968 The Hammer became the four piece I remember and love so much. The band was originally created from members of Roger Bloom's Hammer, Ways n Means and two 'conscripts' and we turned pro in '68 as a soul band. Unfortunately due to family commitments, home sickness etc they didn't last too long. Only John Parker and me were left. We were then joined by Russ Ainthorpe on drums and Rod Temperton on keyboards.

We hated the name The Hammer but were stuck with it. We played all sorts of venues - from village halls to top clubs and theatres enjoying success and acclaim on the 'live' circuit. We travelled the whole of the UK and Ireland, eventually taking up residency in Germany from where we travelled throughout Europe including Scandinavia.

Two Setbacks:

1. We recorded an album in Dick James' studio in London alongside Elton John (Studio One) and The Troggs (Studio Two). We were in Studio Three. Dick James made it clear the album would not be released if we didn't sign Rods song writing abilities away. Rod quite rightly refused and the album was scrapped.

2. We finally got a Friday night gig at the Marquee, in Wardour Street, London. The music press, agents and studio owners always came. If they liked you that was your springboard. That was the day Hendrix died. I think we played to an audience of three. Bollocks!!

We still carried around touring but I think the spirit had gone. John replaced Gary Glitter in Germany whilst Russ, Rod and me joined forces with a German duo. We were playing mundane clubs with mundane material.

John carved out a solo career, Russ went home and I went home to my wife and baby daughter. Rod stayed in Germany, joined a band called Heatwave and the rest is history. Rod did actually ask me to join Heatwave with him but I refused. BIG MISTAKE!!

In my view Hammer turned into the most inventive, creative band to come out of this area, mostly due to Rod Temperton's writing and musical talents. Any arguments!?

Ways 'n' Means
Mike Adamson - Vocals


Formed in 1965 Ways 'n' Means was established as a cabaret band. The members of the band were chosen for their personalities as well as their musical ability, the very distinctive sound being built around the close harmony vocals of the Adamson brothers.

During the time they played together they quickly became recognised as one of the club lands leading acts, performing at many of the leading and most prestigious venues in the north of England. After only a couple of years the boys went their separate ways in order to develop their differing and wide ranging talents.

The band were:

Mike Adamson Vocals\rhythm guitar. Wrote the song Walking Around after watching people wandering aimlessly around the centre of Hull one Sunday afternoon. Mike spent many years as a professional cabaret entertainer before retiring in 1984 to concentrate on his business activities. After living in Spain for a number of years he has recently returned to the rock scene, intending to tour and record new material.

Stuart Adamson Vocals. The younger brother of Mike and together they were a highly successful vocal duo for a number of years in club land and on the cabaret circuit. After retiring from the performing side of the business Stuart became an influential impresario and club land variety agent based in Hull. He has recently retired.

Stan Saye Bass. Ways 'n' Means was Stan's first band. A great personality who developed into a wonderfully talented bass guitarist. After the band broke up he joined The Hammer and enjoyed great success, touring many parts of Europe and the UK. He was admired both as a musician an a person, and has now retired from the music scene, living in Hull with his wife and family.

Geoff Ramsdale Lead guitar. Geoff was without doubt the comedian in the band working very hard to constantly improve his skills. An excellent lead guitarist who went on with Stan Saye to become part of The Hammer. Geoff tragically died in a motor accident some years later and is greatly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Trevor Hinchcliffe Drums. Before joining the band Trevor had played in a number of other local groups and was considered to be a very talented musician too. He later moved to York where he now lives with his family.

Ways 'n' Means
Stan Sayes - Bass


I worked with Mike in the office at Horsley's in 1967. There was a great feeling and buzz around in music then. One day he invited me to form a group with his brother Stuart. By word of mouth and some poaching we acquired two other musicians and Ways 'n' Means were formed.

We designed our own suits (unbelievably I still have mine 'til this day) and set about the club and cabaret scene. Between 1967-68 we had a lot of success and popularity on that scene. However in 1968 Geoff and myself joined members of Roger Bloom's Hammer, plus two outsiders to form the Hammer and turn professional. The Ways n Means were no more.

Bare Soul
Ron Newlove - Drums


Formed early in 1969 from the nucleus of The Combine with financial backing of a local businessman. Supported well known national groups such as The Move, Small Faces etc at Bridlington Spa and were very busy on the local scene and out of town circuit. Recorded at Fairview late '69 and the demo was sent to Decca Records but was unsuccessful.

The Mandrakes
Rich Hodgson - Guitar

The band was formed by a group of students at the Grammar School in Scarborough in 1964 - the first band comprising Mick Stephenson, drums, John Standidge, bass, and Keith Griffin on guitar. A vocalist was needed and (Robert) Allen Palmer joined soon after, having had an accident on his bike on Scarborough seafront when he collided into local Impressario Ron Gillette's car. Ron came to the next practise in an old chicken hut in John's garden and this led to him managing a new group -THE MANDRAKES.

John and Keith left the band in '65 and Mick Cooke, Rob Southwick and Pete Liley joined Mick S and Allen Palmer. Rob left at the end of '67 and was replaced by Rich Hodgson on guitar. The band played 125 gigs in 1967 - popular or what!

The line up at the time of recording at Fairview Studios was vocals Allen Palmer, drums Mick S, guitars Rich and Pete, bass Mick C. Brian Cooke was now Manager and the band were gigging heavily on the university circuit and local venues, the Hull area especially. From their first gig at The Condor Club in Scarborough in February '65, The Mandrakes went on to support such names as Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Small Faces, Fleetwood Mac, The Move, Soft Machine, Fairport Convention - playing Universities and large dance halls and clubs in the north of England with a couple of foreign tours.

Pete left to be replaced by Alan Black on guitar and towards the end of '68 Derek Gill replaced Mick C on bass. Allen Palmer left to join the Alan Bown Set in July '69, moving on to Dada, (with Elkie Brooks), which slimmed down to become Vinegar Joe. When that split, both Palmer, & Brooks, started to enjoy success as solo artistes. Palmer now used his first name and achieved international stardom as Robert Palmer, sadly dying in 2003.

The Mandrakes continued as a four piece (Derek, Alan, Mick S and Rich), having tried out a couple of female singers, & when Mick S left, he was replaced by Hull's own John Cambridge on drums for the band's final line-up.

The Mandrakes finally split up in August 1971, having covered all real time music tastes from rock 'n' roll, r' n' b, soul, Tamla, psychedelia. The two tracks featured on the CD were penned by Palmer in the early days and perhaps, whilst lacking the sophistication he achieved later, may in some way help to keep the legend alive that is THE MANDRAKES.