Category Archives: England

The Monotones and the Treetops

The Monotones in Holland, 1964: Brian Alexander, Gary Nichols, Jim Eaton and Pete Stanley
The Monotones in Holland, 1964
from left: Brian Alexander, Gary Nichols, Jim Eaton and Pete Stanley

If you’ve ever seen the 1964 documentary Seven Up you may have wondered what song the kids are dancing to during the party scene towards the end of the film. I learned from my friend Michael Lynch that the song was “What Would I Do” by the Monotones, a group from Southend-on Sea in Essex, about 45 miles directly east of London.

Monotones Pye 45 What Would I Do

Mark Lloyd and Jim Eaton singing the Everly's
Mark Lloyd and Jim Eaton singing the Everly’s
“What Would I Do” was the first of four singles they released on Pye in ’64 and ’65. To say this song has charm would be an understatement, even more so if you’ve seen Seven Up. The bridge is especially fine, with tremolo guitar behind the vocals “if I say that I love you, and you know that it’s true …”

The band gives a sharp performance on the flip, “Is It Right” though the song is less distinctive than the top side. Both songs on their first 45 were written by ‘Stanley Alexander’, actually Brian Alexander and Stanley Peter Frederick according to the BMI database. I didn’t know anything else about the band until Phil T. contacted me with the newspaper clipping and the following info:

During their early years, the group line-up changed many times but by 1964, it comprised Brian Alexander (lead), Jim Eaton (vocals and rhythm), Pete Stanley (bass) and Gary Nichols (drums) and I believe that it was these four who made the recordings. Their original vocalist, Nigel Basham also performed separately under the name Mark Loyd and was backed from time to time at local gigs by another Southend band, The Mustangs, who also originated at Westcliff High.

Sadly, I understand that The Monotones’ drummer, Gary Nichols, died in April 2007.

Photos of the band’s early years sent to me by guitarist Ian Middlemiss can be seen on this separate page.

Much more information about the band came when Jim Eaton and Peter Stanley left detailed comments about the band. To read the full history of the group and it’s change to the Treetops, read through the comments below. Jim also sent the photos seen here with this comment:

I have attached some photos of The Monotones in the early sixties and also some of The Treetops (our new name when we joined Mecca at the Wimbledon Tiffanys). You will note we added a female to our lineup, a great vocalist Martha Smith. We cut several records as The Treetops when the lineup comprised Brian Alexander (lead guitar and backing vocals), Jim Eaton (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Pete Stanley (bass guitar and backing vocals), Mark Lloyd (lead vocals, vibes and harmonica), Martha Smith (lead vocals and piano) and Pete Trout our very fine drummer.

In the article about the band for The Southend Standard Jim Eaton also noted their appearance on Ready Steady Go, Thank Your Lucky Stars and Juke Box Jury, clips I’d love to see if they still survive.

The Monotones, 1962
The Monotones, 1962

Monotones Hickory 45 When Will I Be LovedThe Monotones had two U.S. releases on the Hickory label, one of which, “When Will I Be Loved” / “If You Can’t Give Me All” was not released in the UK. It turns out to be a demo recorded before their first Pye 45, released in the U.S. without the group’s knowledge!

Monotones Hickory 45 If You Can't Give Me AllJim Eaton recently heard these songs again for the first time in about 47 years! He wrote to me:

I received and played the record yesterday and it is definitely us. I now recall cutting both sides as a demo in 1963 at the Regent Sound Studio in London’s famous Denmark St. (also known as Tin Pan Alley due to the large number of studios, record publishers and musical instrument shops.)

Monotones 45 releases:

UK:
Pye 7N 15608 – What Would I Do / Is It Right (February 14, 1964)
Pye 7N 15640 – It’s Great / Anymore (1964)
Pye 7N 15761 – No Waiting / Like A Lover Should (1965)
Pye 7N 15814 – Something’s Hurting Me / A Girl Like That (1965)

US:
Hickory 1250 – What Would I Do / Is It Right
Hickory 1306 – When Will I Be Loved / If You Can’t Give Me All

Monotones promo photo for "Now Waiting", from left: Jim Eaton, Brian Alexander, Gary Nichols and Pete Stanley
Promo shot for “Now Waiting”, from left: Jim Eaton, Brian Alexander, Gary Nichols and Pete Stanley
Mark Loyd backed by the Monotones with session musicians:

Parlophone R 5277 -I Keep Thinking About You / Will It Be the Same (1965)
Parlophone R 5332 – Everybody Tries / She Said No (1965)
Parlophone R 5423 – When Evening Falls / When I’m Gonna Find Her (March 1966)

Note that all his solo releases spell his last name “Loyd”

Treetops 45 releases:

Parlophone R 5628 – Don’t Worry Baby / I Remember (1967 – also released in the U.S. on Tower 388)
Parlophone R 5669 – California My Way / Carry On Living (Feb. 1968)

Columbia DB 8727 – Mississippi Valley / Man Is a Man (1970)
Columbia DB 8799 – Without the One You Love / So Here I Go Again (1971)
Columbia DB 8934 – Why Not Tonite / Funky Flop-Out (Oct. 13, 1972)
Columbia DB 9013 – Gypsy / Life Is Getting Better (Aug 3, 1973)

Mark Lloyd, 1964
Mark Loyd, 1964
Postscript, February 2011:

Jim Eaton: “I have just returned from Australia where I caught up with Mark Loyd who was for many years part of The Monotones before he pursued a solo career.

Update, April, 2012

I’m sorry to report that Mark Loyd (born Nigel Basham), the lead singer with the Monotones and Treetops passed away on April 4, 2012, after fighting cancer for seven years. Mark had been living in Sydney, Australia where he ran a successful event/management company. My condolences to his family, friends, and band mates.

Thanks to Phil for sending in the article from The Southend Standard, January 2006 and to Jim Eaton for his help with songs, photos and information for this page.

The Monotones at the Elms, 1964: Pete Stanley, Brian Alexander, Jim Eaton and Gary Nichols
The Monotones at the Elms, 1964
from left: Pete Stanley, Brian Alexander, Jim Eaton and Gary Nichols

Monotones Hickory 45 What Would I Do

Monotones at The Elms, l-r: Brian Alexander, Jim Eaton, Gary Nichols and Pete Stanley
At The Elms, l-r: Brian Alexander, Jim Eaton, Gary Nichols and Pete Stanley
The Treetops, 1966
The Treetops, 1966
The Treetops, 1967
The Treetops, 1967
The Treetops promo for "Don't Worry Baby"
The Treetops promo for “Don’t Worry Baby”
The Treetops, 1968
The Treetops, 1968

John Smith and the New Sound

 

John Smith and the New Sound were a band from the UK originally, but their releases did much better in Germany and France than back home.

“Just A Loser” shows that soulful and heavy sound UK bands were getting at the time. It was written by F. Sheen. The version of “Birthday” is no improvement over the original. “Girl’s in Love” is an excellent uptempo track with horns. They have several other 45s, including “Don’t Back the Loser” and versions of “Winchester Cathedral” and “See See Rider”.

Recently John Smith himself wrote to me in 2008:

I would like to point out that the band pictured on the [sleeve above] is NOT the original “John Smith & the New Sound.” The original band frequently flew to Germany in 1966/67 where we had a hit record with “Winchester Cathedral.” We followed that up with “Snoopy vs the Red Baron”. The ‘B’ side of ‘Snoopy’ was “Send Her Home”…which was penned by John Smith. We appeared on “Beat Club” in Germany (TV Bremen), also in Hamburg, Munich & Frankfurt. My records were produced by his manager Bill Wellings. I hope this information is of some use … the reason it is so accurate is that I am the original John Smith (my real name incidently)!

I have a video of me performing “Winchester Cathedral” on ‘Beat Club’ in November 1966. Also appearing were Dave Dee & Co., David & Jonathan & a couple of others. I originally recorded “Winchester” with The New Vaudeville Band. Then Bill Wellings (my manager) created the John Smith line-up. The other [versions of] the band were formed after I went to Australia.

I did stay in music, and I started up a cabaret act on my own, sometimes using a guitarist as musical director. In 1969, I was offered a trip to Australia, as a cabaret act, so I went. I worked in Australia for many years, supporting some of the ‘greats’ such as: Guy Mitchell, Frankie Laine, Blood Sweat & Tears, Cilla Black, Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Al Martino etc. I’m now 68 years of age and I live a quiet life in Devon.

Thanks to Borja for turning me on to ‘Girl’s In Love’, to John Smith for his recollections of the band, and to Bernd for the scans of the Winchester Cathedral and Don’t Back the Loser sleeves.

 

Tommy Quickly

This is a US promo copy of a 1964 British 45 by Tommy Quickly, real name Thomas Quigley, a Liverpool pop singer managed by Brian Epstein.

“You Might As Well Forget Him” is a very pretty ballad writtten by Tommy Roe for the soul group the Tams, whose original version did well in the UK. The b-side is a lesser pop number called “It’s As Simple As That”.

One reason I’m posting this is because this song was covered by one of my favorite Australian groups, M.P.D. Ltd. as the b-side to their last 45. They learned it from Quickly when they toured Australia together opening for the Dave Clark Five.

Quickly was apparently a naive youngster who preferred singing rock ‘n roll to pop. His early 45s missed the charts even when he was singing a Lennon-McCartney castoff, and his career was over by the end of 1965.

A remembrance by one of his managers is here.


Article from KRLA Beat magazine, November 21, 1964

KRLA Beat December 2, 1964

KRLA Beat December 9, 1964

The Motives

The Motives photo from 1967: Barry Beaumont-Jones, Tom Winter, Clint Talbot, Dave Field and John Redpath.
The Motives: “one of the promotional pictures taken of us in 1967.” Clockwise from top center: Barry Beaumont-Jones (in suit), Tom Winter, Clint Talbot, Dave Field and John Redpath.

Updated July 2010

Clint Talbot – vocals / rhythm guitar
Tom Winter – lead guitar
Dave Field – Hammond organ
Barry Beaumont-Jones – bass
John Redpath – drums

Motives EP original
The front of the original EP record.

Five British servicemen stationed near the Dutch border at RAF Wildenwrath in West Germany formed the Motives in 1965. In 1967 they released an EP The World is a Trapezium on the Dutch Telstar label.

“God Save Our Gracious Cream” is freakbeat with a backing reminiscent of “Purple Haze”. “I Can Hear Colours” is slow, moody psych. I was recently sent files of the other two tracks on the original ep, “Ice Woman” and “Baby of the May”. “Ice Woman”, with its “Little Wing” intro might be the best of the four.

David Field, keyboardist for the group, recently contacted me and kindly provided the photos and history presented here:

My personal background is that I learned the piano as a child, learned a little guitar also during school years. I had no band experience at all before I joined the RAF. When I was posted to Wildenrath, Clint Talbot (vocals) had formed the original band with a different drummer and lead guitarist, (neither particularly good) and Barry Beaumont-Jones on bass. They were all serving RAF members.

Motives EP back
The back of the original EP record.
Clint and I worked in the same hangar and I used to sit in during practice sessions which were held in the hangar crew-room at night. As we all worked shifts, there were occasions when one member or another could not get time off for a particular gig and I offered to stand in on either lead or bass. I did this on several occasions to help out. I then revealed that I could read music and could play the piano. They suggested that I join the group permanently as a keyboard player. Eventually a second-hand instrument was acquired and that’s how I started with The Motives.

John Redpath was a schoolboy whose father was in the RAF at Wildenrath. If I remember correctly, he was a friend of Barry Beaumont-Jones who suggested he come to a practice session. He did, got on the drumkit of the original drummer, and blew us all away with his drumming skills. A short while later, the original drummer was voted out by the band members and John Redpath invited to join the band.

The 1970 Killroy issue of two songs from the EP.
The 1970 Killroy issue of two songs from the EP.
A similar thing happend with Tom Winter. He was also a civilian, the son of a Security Officer at RAF Wildenrath who had heard about the group and turned up at a practive session one night. He asked if he could play a number with us, borrowed the guitar of the original lead guitarist and proceded to dazzle us with his skills. The original lead guitarist quickly realised that Tom was in a different league and left voluntarily. Tom then joined us!

The band had been doing very well and becoming more popular throughout Germany with both the Service venues and civilian clubs. Our manager was also a member of the RAF and stationed with those of the band who were service personnel at RAF Wildenrath near Wassenburg, quite close to the Dutch border. He was Sgt Graham McMurdo, a Scotsman who had a flair for organisation and was a communications expert in the RAF. The bass player, Barrie Beaumont-Jones worked in the same section as Graham who was, in fact, Barrie’s boss.

Graham had decided that we should record a demo record to help to promote the band. This was to be done at the ‘Telstar’ Recording Studio in Weert, Holland. The band paid for around 120 copies. Some were kept to distribute around promotional organisations and used as prizes during our gigs throughout Germany. The remainder were split between the band members to do with as they pleased. My family still have 4 copies.

Incidentally, the sleeve of the EP record was designed and drawn by Tom Winter who, apart from being an incredible guitar player, was also a very talented artist. The drawing of the chap on the front of the record sleeve wearing spectacles, is actually a caricature of Graham Mc Murdo!

The tracks we were to record at ‘Telstar’ were all written by Tom Winter. We had of course practised them all beforehand, however, when we got to the studio, we virtually rearranged all of the tracks from what had been practised as we had the full facilities of the recording studio at our disposal.

The other thing I remember personally was that in the band, I used a Phillips Phillicorda keyboard which had been bought from a dutch group we used to gig with occasionally. Their keyboard player was upgrading to another keyboard and so had the Phillips available for sale. The band paid for it and I paid the band back out of my gig money! When we got to the recording studio, however, there in the corner, was a Hammond L100. I asked the sound engineer if I could use it for the recoding rather than my own instrument. He said yes and so the Hammond was used.

The tracks were all used at gigs once the EP had been produced.

A promotional poster used to advirtise gigs played by the band.
A promotional poster used to advirtise gigs played by the band. Left to right: Mr John Redpath – Percussionist Extraodinare, Mr Barry Jones – Electrical Bass Virtuoso, Mr Tom Winter – Fingers of Gold, Mr Clint Talbot – A Smile & a Song, Mr David Field – Master of the Ivories

As far as the reissue of two tracks of the EP are concerned, I new nothing of this until recently. Purely by chance, I had googled ‘The Motives’ which came up with an extract from Sweet Floral Albion Issue 13 under the www.marmalade-skies.co.uk banner. In this extract, Tom Winter and Barry Beaumont-Jones had been interviewed by someone from the webzine. The interviewer asked Barry B-Jones if he was aware that two of the tracks had been released by Killroy (KR1551 June 1970) and had featured on the ’Waterpipes & Dykes’ compilation where it had been suggested that it was the work of ‘Opus’. Interestingly, the ‘Kilroy’ label was owned by Johnny Hoes, the owner of the ‘Telstar’ label in Weert which explains pehaps what had been going on! It would be interesting to discover where the ex-members of ‘The Motives’, Telstar and the Killroy label stand legally on this reissue?

Two members of the group formed a band caled Mr Fantasy: Tom Winters and Barry Beaumont-Jones. This lasted about a year after which Tom Winter left and joined Opus 23. John Redpath joined a group called Emergency.

When I returned to the UK, I formed my own discotheque but did not continue with the keyboard until much later, and that privately at home, not in a group. I have at home a Hammond organ and a Yamaha PSR S900 keyboard.

If anyone knows of the whereabouts or email addresses of any of the former memmbers of the Motives I would like to here from them as I havn’t seen any of them since 1968.

David Field

The Motives: Left to right: Dave Field, Tom Winter, Barry Beaumont-Jones and Clint Talbot
Left to right: Dave Field, Tom Winter, Barry Beaumont-Jones and Clint Talbot
Left to right: Dave Field, Tom Winter, Barry Beaumont-Jones, John Redpath in back behind drums
Left to right: Dave Field, Tom Winter, Barry Beaumont-Jones, John Redpath in back behind drums
Left to right: Julia (Tom Winters girlfriend), Barry Beaumont-Jones and Clint Talbot
Left to right: Julia (Tom Winters girlfriend), Barry Beaumont-Jones and Clint Talbot
Left to right: Tom Winters (hidden), Barry Beaumont-Jones on tambourine, Dave Field playing bass for a change! and Clint Talbot on vocals and rhythm guitar
Left to right: Tom Winters (hidden), Barry Beaumont-Jones on tambourine, Dave Field playing bass for a change! and Clint Talbot on vocals and rhythm guitar
Motives Berlin photo
“As winners of the ‘Top of the Groups’ competition run by BFBS, we were asked to represent BFBS by playing a gig in Berlin. This was a huge affair to commemorate the starting of colour TV in Germany in 1967. All of the major radio bands of the era were there and The Motives were the only Pop band invited.” (caption by David Field)
The Fans: Taken in Rhinedahlen during the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) Germany 'Top of the Groups' competition which The Motives won.
The Fans: Taken in Rhinedahlen during the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) Germany ‘Top of the Groups’ competition which The Motives won.

Thanks to Maarten Oosterveld for the scan and transfer of the Killroy single and to Scott for sending in the other two tracks from the EP. A special thank you to David Field for the photos and history of the group.

The Pink Fairies

The Pink Fairies – they have plenty of mediocre stuff, but “The Snake” / “Do It”, their first 45 is their best – pure grunge & very heavy for 1971.

“Kakkoi” my friend Ryoma said when I played him “The Snake” for the first time.

Red vinyl from the Italian issue.

Rare tracks by Dave Davies, Ray Davies and the Kinks

“I Believed You” is one of the demo tracks recorded by the Ravens, an early version of the Kinks led by Dave Davies, in 1963.

“Time Will Tell” is an excellent Kinks track that for some reason wasn’t released at the time.

Next come three Ray Davies songwriting demos, never recorded by the full band, all from 1965. “All Night Stand” was given to the Thoughts, a UK band also produced by Shel Talmy, but I prefer Ray’s demo.

“Creeping Jean” is a fairly obscure song by Davie Davies and the Kinks. After hitting big with his solo 45, “Death of a Clown”, it looked like Dave might start a full solo career. An album was planned and more 45’s released under his name. None of those did very well, so the lp was canceled. This song was only available on the b-side to “Hold My Hand” from early 1969, until Pye issued “Dave Davies – The Album that Never Was” in 1988.