Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Si Hayden - Coventry Virtuoso Guitarist's Growing International Reputation

This time Pete Clemons looks at the growing international reputation of  a Coventry virtuoso guitarist - Si Hayden, who plays anything from Classical, flamenco, fret-less, Jazz and folk and of course is a member of Joe O'Donnell's Shkayla. All for his latest article for the Coventry Telegraph....





Si Hayden - Timeout - Solo Guitar - (Original).



Si Hayden - Spanish Guitar Solo Beginning (Original) 







Visit Si Hayden's website for more http://www.sihayden.com/




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tangerine Dream - Coventry Cathedral 1975

Tangerine Dream played in Coventry Cathedral in 1975. Pete Clemons takes up the story for the Coventry Telegraph -



The original footage of the 1975 Tangerine Dream gig at the Coventry Cathedral. This is NOT the 2007 DVD where BBC added some extras, but unfortunately also dubbed the Ricochet album over the video. This is an original VHS recording from TV as broadcast on BBC on 16/10/76, so the quality is not at all brilliant.





Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Flamingoes c 1963 - 66

"circa 1964-66 Pop/Beat group. Hard gigging pop/beat outfit.
Possible recordings exist from August 1966. Winters was "...booked for 6 weeks of cabaret in Leeds.." in September 1969." Above info from The Broadgate Gnome site.


A while back Murray McKenzie (AKA Murray Winters and Scott McKenzie) got in contact with Hobo. I passed the contact to Pete Clemons who interviewed him about his 60's band The Flamingoes and his subsequent career as a promoter. Very interesting and the result was published in The Coventry Telegraph recently. Rob Woodward of Lieutenant Pigeon was also in the Flamingoes.

Line upAlan Payne on lead guitar, Ollie Warner on bass guitar, Rob Woodward on keyboards, Bill Gates on drums and on lead vocals the above mentioned Murray Winters (Mackenzie)


FLOCK ROCK WITH THE FLAMINGOES
BY PETE CLEMONS
For the Coventry Telegraph 2014

I WAS recently, pleasantly pleased, to be reminded by Murray Mackenzie about another popular beat band who existed within Coventry during the early 1960s and who played all the same local venues as The Sorrows, The Matadors and The Echo Four. And this band went by the name of The Flamingoes and Murray had once been a member of them.

The Flamingoes featured the following personnel - Alan Payne on lead guitar, Ollie Warner on bass guitar, Rob Woodward on keyboards, Bill Gates on drums and on lead vocals the above mentioned Murray Winters (Mackenzie). The band came together during mid-1963. Murray explained that he got the name Murray Winters because, before joining The Flamingoes, he had had a spell as the lead singer with The Vampires. At that time The Vampires also had a female singer called Helen Summers. So they took his first name of Murray and added Winters to it so the group was always advertised at that time as The Vampires with 'Murray Winters & Helen Summers.

Early dates for The Flamingoes would include venues such as the New Inn at Longford and The Navigation Pub on Stoney Stanton Road. And their set would include all of current chart hits from the bands of the day that included a lot of Tamla Motown material. Lead guitarist Alan Payne used to buy imports so the band were able to do few numbers from Motown acts that were not known at the time, but who would became household names a couple of years later, such as Otis Redding, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Sam & Dave.

The Flamingoes would eventually get work through agent Reg Calvert who operated his rock 'n' roll school at nearby Clifton Hall Rugby. Reg would get the band playing gigs all over the country and also at his own local venue of the Co-op Hall in Nuneaton.

At the Co-op Hall The Flamingoes would be the main support act to bands such as Johnnie Kidd & the Pirates, Them, The Who, The Fortunes, The Brook Brothers, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes and Pinkertons Assorted Colours.

For that support slot the band would earn around PS18 per night. If, however, the band had to travel for example to Wisbech Town Hall where they supported Dave Berry and the Cruisers then their earnings would go up by an extra PS4 to PS22.

Murray Winters recalls a story of those travels : "We were appearing with Johnnie Kidd and the Pirates at Banbury Winter Gardens. He was a really great guy and we were doing quite a few gigs with him at that time and we all became really friendly. Girls were at the front of the stage screaming and shouting when Johnnie Kidd came on, and one girl grabbed the bottom of his feet, and one of his slip on shoes came off, to show a great big hole in his sock with his big toe sticking out. Looking on from the side of the stage, we were all in bits."

By the end of 1966 the band, who by now were known locally as The Pretty Flamingoes, were due to sign up for a record deal with producer Shel Talmy.

Shel, of course, had already produced hit records with bands like The Who. Just two days before the band were due to go down and record for Shel, they suffered a catastrophe.

Rob Woodward, who had been instrumental in getting the deal with Shel in the first place, had borrowed the group's van. During the night the van was stolen from outside his house. With it went all of the group's equipment which had been stored within it. Not being insured that was just about the end of the group. They tried to carry on, borrowing gear from here and there, but it only lasted another six months before they decided to call it a day.

After the split Rob Woodward would go on to put together, firstly Stavely Makepeace and then Lieutenant Pigeon along with Nigel Fletcher on drums, bass player Steve Johnson and Rob's mother Hilda on piano.

Murray Winters however, although remaining in the entertainments business, took a totally different route. Murray went on to form his own band called Murray Winters and the Late Nite Set. Between 1968 and 1970 they played a lot of local venues, and we used to pack the Old Ball Hotel on Ball Hill every Sunday lunch time when they appeared there. The lunchtime shows became so busy, with so many people being turned away, the band moved to The Walsgrave pub in order to accommodate everybody.

During 1970, and at the age of 25, Murray formed an agency business called Scott Mackenzie Associates. The business was named after his son, Robert Scott Mackenzie, who was born the same year as the hit single 'San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)'.

The experience gained working around the country with The Flamingoes stood in good stead as he had met various club owners who, when he got into conversation with them, would always ask if he knew of any other good bands or acts that he could suggest to them to appear at their venues.

From those beginnings Murray, now known as Scott, started fixing up bands and acts to appear at some of these venues and they would, in turn, pay him commission. As this was a more attractive proposition than working at the Chrysler, Scott gave up the day job and concentrated on his agency full time.

And as Scott Mackenzie Associates he also brought many American touring acts to Coventry in the 1970s which many people will remember such as Johnnie Ray, Neil Sedaka, Del Shannon (who Smackee backed worldwide for three years between 1975 and 1978), Bobby Vee, The Crickets and Bill Haley and the Comets to name but a few.

In fact for the Bill Haley gigs the support act was Shakin Stevens and Pete Waterman was compere for the shows. Pete did the shows for free as he just wanted to meet Bill Haley. Scott also brought The Sex Pistols to Coventry when they appeared as Mr George's Club as he was the sole booking agent of the venue for several years.

Today Scott lives in Somerset and still specialises in supplying top quality live acts for your events and functions. Not only that but for over 35 years Scott has been the agent for Barry Walker & Smackee for whom his son Rob Mackenzie plays guitar.
END
...........................................
The following article is from the Coventry Evening Telegraph, sourced via the Broadgate Gnome site and Paul Connew, later of Daily Mirror, mistakenly referred to them as The Pretty Flamingoes in the article. However the band was called The Flamingoes.

Memories and Comments from Lead Guitarist Alan Payne.

"I was in a local band called "The Flamingoes" which included the best drummer / vocalist I've ever heard, a guy called Bill Gates, no not that one! Equally on a par with the likes of Roger Taylor, Keith Moon etc.We had a residency at the Walsgrave on Tuesday nights and every week there would be a local guest band too.

This one week the guest band was one called "Listen" which had a 16 year old Robert Plant and John Bonham which eventually lead to Led Zeppelin. They were both phenomenal even at that age!

There was another Coventry band called "The Beat Preachers" who had another great drummer (can't remember his name sadly).

If we both played a gig together people would come from miles just to hear an amazing double drum solo from Bill Gates and the other drummer, it was like listening to a duet by Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa - breathtaking!!

When the Flamingoes split I joined a Birmingham duo called: "Double Feature" who had voices like Stevie Winwood and we recorded the first ever version of "Handbags and Gladrags!! We used to do gigs with the likes of Roy Wood, The Moody Blues, Jeff Lynne etc. We were quite well known on the Bham scene at the time."