Eel Pie Island Roll Call (page 2)

January 1967 (cont’d)

Wed. Jan 25th – Alex Harvey with The Mox (£40) from both contract and payment letter

Alex had parted company with his previously ever-present Soul Band by tonight, having become disillusioned with the lack of success of his ‘showband’ outfit, and keen to try something new, which, of course, was rather in vogue at this point in the 60s. Just who was / were The Mox? I have found a reference to ‘The Giant Moth’, an outfit Alex toyed with, I guess, in 1967, when things were going lysergic-shaped and this may have been an early outing for the line-up that included two members of Kilmarnock’s Anteeks, along with Mox. Peter Davis references “the extraordinary Mox” in his article “Rockin’ Around The Town” (reproduced in “The British Beat Explosion” which was produced as part of this project in 2013), but I had so far found nothing on the character, other than that he played harmonica, though thanks to Alan Iorr, who has pointed me in the direction of John Neil Munro’s “The Sensational Alex Harvey Band” biog, drummer George Butler from the aforementioned Giant Moth has described Mox as playing anything “that extracted wind”, and looked like Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, owing to his long red hair and beard. Also, according to the biog of Amboy Dukes (written by their drummer Mick Jerome – see April 12th for their own entry), when they covered “Judy In Disguise”, “…the harmonica featured was played by a guy we knew as “Moxy” who we met in the pub!” which sounds like the same guy

Sat. Jan 28thKen Colyer’s Jazzmen (£40)
Sun. Jan 29thThe Laymen (£10)
Sun. Jan 29thThe Gass (£40)
This relatively exorbitantly remunerated outfit featured Bob Tench on guitar and vocals, later to feature in a Jeff Beck line-up, and become a Streetwalker with Family’s Chapman and Whitney. In 1969, Gass were recruited by Jack Good to be the backing band for his stage production of “Catch My Soul”. Tench is still to be seen at the Bull’s Head in Barnes with Papa George these days

February 1967

Wed. Feb 1stBlues City Shake Down (£10)

Peter Ross featured in this outfit on harmonica, and went on to work with Caleb Quaye’s Hookfoot, as well as with Richard Thompson: five years later he would team up with ex-T2 guitarist prodigy Keith Cross and release “Bored Civilians” as Cross & Ross. This album has been reissued in 2014

Wed. Feb 1stBrian Auger, the Other Thing with Duelly [sic] Driscoll (£45)
Clearly Steampacket are no more, but is this the line-up that would be responsible for “This Wheel’s On Fire” the following year? Otherwise, what exactly is ‘the Other Thing’? In any case, top marks for the typo for Julie Driscoll, who was not exactly unknown in these parts by this time. Not only that, but they were namechecked in a review in the following week’s ‘Beaver’ as “Bill Ogre’s Trinity”. Tsk!
Sat. Feb 4thBrian Green New Orleans Stompers (£25)

When the Rank Organisation’s cameras came calling in 1967 to film one of their “Look At Life” documentaries (in this case, subtitled “Who Needs Eel Pie Island?”), it was Brian Green’s Stompers who were on stage. Was that tonight?

Sun. Feb 5thThe Battery (£10)
Sun. Feb 5thJohn Mayall Blues Band [sic] (£65)
Wed. Feb 8thThe Footprints (£10)
Wed. Feb 8thGraham Bond Organization (£60)
Sat. Feb 11thSpencer’s Washboard Kings (£40)
Sun. Feb 12thCross Ties Blues Band (£10)

These featured ‘Lonesome’ Dave Peverett and Chris Youlden who went on to join Savoy Brown (featured here in their own right): ‘Lonesome’ further went on to form Foghat, who became rather big on the other side of the pond

Sun. Feb 12thThe Herd (£40)
Wed. Feb 15thNew Soul Concern (£10)
Wed. Feb 15thMike Cotton Sound with Lucas (£45)
Sat. Feb 18thCollie’s Rhythm Aces (£30)
Sun. Feb 19thJohn Bryan Fraternity (£10)
Sun. Feb 19thDavid Essex and Mood Indigo (£45)
Seven years before making anyone a star and topping the charts, Essex was doing the rounds with Mood Indigo
Wed. Feb 22ndApostolic Intervention (£10 but “NOT PAID” as “did not intervene” according to AC’s payment letter)

One of whom ‘did not intervene’ was a young Jerry Shirley on drums, who would later find employment in Steve Marriott’s Humble Pie

Wed. Feb 22ndThe Artwoods (£45)
Sat. Feb 25thAlan Elsdon’s Jazz Band (£40)
Sun. Feb 26thChicago Line Blues Band (£10)
This outfit came out of The Bo Street Runners, who I remember seeing win a “Ready Steady Win” competition on TV intended to unearth the new Beatles: Ron Wood’s Birds could only come fifth out of six bands! That band became a limited company, went bust, and thus the name became the property of HM’s Official Receiver, hence this new identity. Tim Hinkley and Mike Patto would later team up with Ollie Halsall to form the respected but unsuccessful Timebox, and later progressive heroes Patto, though not with drummer Viv Prince, once of the Pretty Things, whose future lay elsewhere
Sun. Feb 26thThe Locomotive (£40)

The original line-up of The Locomotive featured Chris Wood, who by this time had gone on to bigger things with Traffic, and drummer Mike Kellie who joined The VIPs, who became Art, who then became Spooky Tooth, but who later turned up in The Only Ones of “Another Girl Another Planet” fame in 1978. The Locomotive would have their own minor hit a year after tonight with “Rudi’s In Love”.

March 1967

Wed. Mar 1stFive Proud Walkers (£10)

Following the Damascene experience of supporting Pink Floyd, the Walkers had become Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera a mere four months after tonight, appearing in their new guise here the following year

Wed. Mar 1stThe Pink Floyd (£75)

Still employing the definite article at this point
Sat. Mar 4thSpencer’s Washboard Kings (£40)
Sun. Mar 5thThe Battery (£10)
Sun. Mar 5thThe Artwoods (£65)
Wed. Mar 8thThe Tribe (£10)
The Tribe included future members of such diverse acts as The Bonzo Dog Band (Dennis Cowan) and The Sweet (Frank Torpey)!
Wed. Mar 8thSavoy Brown Blues Band (£30)
Fri. Mar 10thChaos Blues Band (£10)
Fri. Mar 10thThe Little Joe Set (£45)
Sat. Mar 11thKeith Smith Band (£30)
Sun. Mar 12thDoctor K’s Blues Band (£10)
Featured Ashley Hutchings on bass at this point, before he left to form Fairport Convention later in the year, as well as Geoff Krivit on guitar, who it appears was one of those substitutes employed by John Mayall in 1965 when Eric Clapton went AWOL to Greece
Sun. Mar 12thChampion Jack Dupree and Five Proud Walkers (£50)
Wed. Mar 15thWorrying Kynde (£10)
Wed. Mar 15thJimmy Cliff and the Shake Down Sound (£30)
Sat. Mar 18thSteve Lane Southern Stompers (£25)
Sun. Mar 19thMike Stuart Span (£35)

While Mike Stuart Span were paid accordingly, the contracted Black Cat Bones were not, with the payment letter explaining that there was “no fee payable to the Charlie Brown Clowns as they did not appear”!

Wed. Mar 22ndThe Footprints (£10)
Wed. Mar 22ndThe Artwoods (£45)
Sat. Mar 25thBill Nile’s Goodtime Band (£35)
Sun. Mar 26th Locomotive (£10) Payment letter quotes Locomotive @ £10, rather than the contracted The Stalkers
Sun. Mar 26thCarl Douglas and the Big Stampede (£40)
Yes, this is Carl Douglas some seven years before he took up Kung Fu Fighting. As if to redress the balance in credibility terms, as recently as 2014, a retrospective CD, “Crazy Feeling”, was released, comprising his material around this time, to good reviews from the music press. “Carl Douglas are OK” according to the payment letter!

Wed. Mar 29thJohn Bryan Fraternity (£10)
Wed. Mar 29thThe Pink Floyd (£75)

The following week would see the Floyd on Top Of The Pops for the first time unveiling “Arnold Layne”

April 1967

Sat. Apr 1stSpencer’s Washboard Kings (£40)
Sun. Apr 2ndThe Artwoods (£65)
Wed. Apr 5thFreddy Mack and the Mack Sound (£60)
A larger than life character, Freddy Mack was unsuccessfully trading punches (legally) with Jack Bodell less than two years before tonight, being a light-heavyweight contemporary of Floyd Paterson, no less, and who travelled to the Helsinki Olympics as Paterson’s ‘alternate’ (also having sparred with the then Cassius Clay). He also got to carry Elizabeth Taylor into Rome in “Cleopatra” in an occasional movie stint, and has a small part in The Sex Pistols’ “Rock And Roll Swindle”, but at this point he was fronting an ever-changing line-up of British jazz and R&B musicians that are far too numerous to detail here. Indeed, for his LP, self-effacingly entitled “The Fantastic Freddy Mack Show”, he drafted in Island stalwarts The Artwoods, not that that stopped it flopping. He managed to avoid deportation back to the US, and ended up north of the border, being heard regularly as a DJ on various Scottish radio stations. Also, if you remember the TV ad for K-Tel’s “Superbad” compilation album in the 70s, well Mack was ‘Mr Superbad’. An impressive CV!
Sat. Apr 8thNew Sedalia Jazz Band (£35)
Sun. Apr 9thDown and Oute [sic] (£10
Sun. Apr 9thThe Locomotive (£40)
Wed. Apr 12thChaos Blues Band (£10)
Wed. Apr 12thAmboy Dukes / Checkmates? (£35)
Nothing to do with Detroit’s red-blooded Ted Nugent’s boys, according to one source this lot were from Nottingham.…..or Reading, as per a load of other sources, so that’s more likely. That’s Amboy Dukes, of course, and that’s what’s typed on the contract, but annotated in biro with “Checkmates” (Emile Ford’s backing band), so who was actually on view tonight? Meanwhile, I’ve unearthed a payment letter which states Amboy Dukes were paid for tonight
Sat. Apr 15thKen Colyer’s Jazzband (£40)
Sun. Apr 16thDr K Blues Band (£10)
Sun. Apr 16thFree At Last (£45)
By this time Alexis Korner’s outfit featured Marsha Hunt on vocals, who, having married Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge to enable her to get a visa extension in the first place, took this job to earn her fare back to the US. She didn’t use it for that, but joined Ferris Wheel a year later before becoming the poster image for the musical “Hair”. She went on to a modelling career, relationships with Marc Bolan and Mick Jagger, and ultimately became a novelist, but I remember her best for her reading of Dr John’s “I Walk On Gilded Splinters” which got her on Top of the Pops in 1969

Wed. Apr 19thMcGregors Engine (£10)
A ‘Luton supergroup’, apparently, but who numbered both Mick Abrahams on guitar, and Clive Bunker on drums within their ranks, both of whom would soon feature in a combo called Jethro Tull
Wed. Apr 19thThe Anzacs (£30)
Sat. Apr 22ndNew Sedalia Jazzband (£25)
According to payment letter, the New Sedalia Jazzband were paid for tonight rather than the expected Gothics
Sun. Apr 23rdThe Battery (£10)
Sun. Apr 23rdSavoy Brown Blues Band (£30)
Wed. Apr 26thSyrian Blues Band (£10)
Wed. Apr 26thThe Artwoods (£45)

Sun. Apr 30thThe Naz (£10)
Not to be confused with The Nazz of early Alice Cooper, or The Nazz of Todd Rundgren. However, it may be a very early outing for Keith Emerson’s new combo, The Nice. Apparently they were calling themselves The Naz when they started backing PP Arnold, and it was at her suggestion that they renamed themselves The Nice. Unfortunately, I have The Naz playing on the island back in September 66, which may have been too early to have been Emerson’s outfit if both dates apply to the same group. Still, you never know. Unfortunately, this all may be academic, as there is no mention of The Naz in the relevant payment letter
Sun. Apr 30thJesse Fuller (£110)

May 1967

Wed. May 3rd1-2-3 (£10)

This gig came in the midst of a number of Saturday headline dates at The Marquee, and they were apparently a ‘protoprog’ act that got nowhere, but featured a radical revision of Paul Simon’s “Sound of Silence” in their set. David Bowie, no less, described them in an interview in 1967 as “three thistle and haggis voiced bairns [who] had the audacity to face a mob of self-opinionated hippies with a brand of unique pop music which, because of its intolerance of mediocrity, floated, as would a Hogarth cartoon in Beano”: he has a way with words, that Bowie. In any case they evolved into Clouds and would again appear on the Island in 1969

Wed. May 3rdHeart and Souls (£30)
Sat. May 6thAlan Elsdon Jazz Band (£40)
Sun. May 7thChicago Line Blues Band (£10)
Sun. May 7thThe Artwoods (£65)
Wed. May 10thThe Coloured Raisins & King Ossie Show (£40)
Sat. May 13thSpencer’s Washboard Kings (£40)
Sun. May 14thThe Foundations (£10)
From being paid only £10 for tonight, to hitting number 1 with “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” some five months later sounds like a somewhat meteoric rise. Actually, during this period it is likely Arthur Brown was sharing vocal duties with Clem Curtis, so it’s intriguing to think Islanders may have had a sneak preview of the God of Hellfire, though on his own admission he’d had favourable reaction at Eel Pie Island in 1965 when his Arthur Brown Set had a support slot (date unknown)

Sun. May 14thThe Herd (£40)
Wed. May 17thFreddy Mack Show (£60)

Plus “lighting demonstration”, according to AC’s ‘List of Bands for May

Sat. May 20thBill Nile’s Goodtime Band (£35)
Sun. May 21stThe Battery (£10)
Sun. May 21stLucas and the Mike Cotton Sound (£50)
Wed. May 24thDown and Outs (£10)
Wed. May 24thThe Artwoods (£45)
Sat. May 27thCollie’s Rhythm Aces (£30)
Sun. May 28thThe Stalkers (£10)
Sun. May 28thSavoy Brown Blues Band (£30)
Wed. May 31stBlack Cat Bones (£10)
Wed. May 31stJesse Fuller (£60)

June 1967

Sat. Jun 3rdSpencers Washboard Kings (£50)

Sun. Jun 4thDr K Blues Band (£10)

Sun. Jun 4th The Amboy Dukes (£40)

Wed. Jun 7thThe Battery (£10)

Wed. Jun 7thCock a Hoop (£25)

Sat. Jun 10thKeith Smith Climax Band (£30)

Sun. Jun 11thBlues City Shakedown (£10)

Sun. Jun 11thThe Artwoods (£65)

Wed. Jun 14thThe Freddy Mack Show (£75)

Sat. Jun 17thMike Daniels Delta Jazzband (£35)

Sun. Jun 18thTen Years After (£10)

Sun. Jun 18thCarl Douglas and The Big Stampede (£40)

Wed. Jun 21stDr K Blues Band (£10)

Wed. Jun 21stThe Artwoods (£45)

Fri. Jun 23rdCarl Douglas and The Big Stampede
As this is a Friday, this is possibly a dubious entry, especially as Carl Douglas had played here only five days before, but never rule out that ‘local college dance’ syndrome. In any case, both dates were advertised in “Fabulous 208” magazine, of all places

Sat. Jun 24thKen Colyer Jazzmen (£40)

Sun. Jun 25thA.Q. Blues Band (£10)

Sun. Jun 25thHerbie Goins and The Nightimers (£75)

Wed. Jun 28thJohn Lee Hooker (£75)

With John Lee’s Groundhogs now disbanded, at least temporarily, this really is the John Lee Hooker. I have found a reference to Pink Floyd appearing on the Island tonight, but a combination of the facts that “See Emily Play” had been released only two weeks before, and that John Lee Hooker was booked as a headline act, suggest that The Floyd were absent tonight, though they were here a week later. That other source must just be a week out. As for John Lee Hooker, AC delayed payment as he only appeared for “half of the performance” – the subsequent payment letter shows he was paid £50

July 1967

Sat. Jul 1stSteve Lane Southern Stompers (£25)
Sun. Jul 2ndBlack Cat Bones (£10)
Sun. Jul 2ndTen Years After (£25)
The fastest guitar-slinger in town comes to the Island, with Alvin Lee still two years away from his Woodstock apogee
Wed. Jul 5thThe Battery (£10)
Wed. Jul 5thPink Floyd (£100)

While Pink Floyd played three times on the Island during 1967, it is not clear which particular instance flummoxed local author Judy Astley, when she turned up to find the walls of the ballroom adorned with lots of white sheets. She didn’t get a proper reply from Arthur Chisnall when she asked him, but the answer would be revealed when the band came on, accompanied by their revolutionary light-show. I suspect the Floyd preferred the idea of projecting said light-show onto a ‘clean’ surface, which the cartoon-infested walls certainly wouldn’t have been. Guy Lewis contacted us, remembering it well “Halfway down the room were two stepladders, and on the top of the stepladders a projector shining through round glass slides containing coloured oils: a guy had a small blow lamp, which, together with revolving slides, made an amazing ‘psychedelic’ pattern on the sheets behind the band – very hi-tech. A girl next to me suddenly blurted out “Eh Mavis, I think I’m going to freak out!”. (Obviously that means that the sheets were positioned behind the band rather than on the side walls, as I’d initially supposed.)

Sat. Jul 8thSpencer’s Washboard Kings (£50)
Sun. Jul 9thThe Stalkers (£10)
Sun. Jul 9thAlex Harvey Soul Band (£35)
While the contract implies Alex has his Soul Band back, it seems more likely that this is another appearance by The Giant Moth (see January 25th), as he persevered with them until he was co-opted into the backing band for the Hair musical, lured by decent money and regular work

Wed. Jul 12thSyrian Blues Band (£10)
Wed. Jul 12thThe Rogues Gallery (£30)
Sat. Jul 15thBill Niles Band (£35)
Sun. Jul 16thBruno’s Blues Band (£10)
Bruno’s Blues Band evolved into Steve Miller’s Delivery, under which name they would appear on the Island in 1970
Sun. Jul 16thThe Heart and Souls (£40)
Wed. Jul 19thRuby Jaines (£10)
Wed. Jul 19thSavoy Brown Blues Band (£35)
Sat. Jul 22ndEric Silk Southern Jazz Band (£25)
Sun. Jul 23rdThe Freddy Mack Show (£75)
Wed. Jul 26thHarvey Struart [sic] Blues Band (£10)
Wed. Jul 26thThe Family (£35)
Leicester’s finest, in their original line-up, with Roger Chapman’s bleating to the fore, no doubt
Sat. Jul 29thAlan Elsdon’s Jazz Band (£40)
Sun. Jul 30thThe Last Word (£10)
Sun. Jul 30thThe Tomorrow [sic] (£30)
Despite a great pedigree, featuring future Yes guitarist Steve Howe, Tomorrow were rather overshadowed commercially by singer Keith West’s involvement with the Teenage Opera project, which in itself merely yielded that single ‘Grocer Jack’ chart hit

August 1967

Wed. Aug 2ndCraig King & The Midnight Train (£10)
Wed. Aug 2ndThe Heart and Soul (£40)
Sat. Aug 5thSpencer’s Washboard Kings (£50)
Payment letter has Spencer’s Washboard Kings receiving £50 rather than The Gothics Jazz Band who had been booked for £25

Sun. Aug 6thThe Black Cat Bones (£10)
These proto-Free bluesmen evidently impressed Champion Jack Dupree, as they backed him on a Blue Horizon-label album “When You Feel The Feeling You Was Feeling” the following year. Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke then left to form Free, and the remainder, plus replacements and latter-day vocalist Peter French became Leaf Hound in 1970

Sun. Aug 6th – The Freddy Mack Show (£75) from payment letter

Wed. Aug 9thFairport Convention (£10)
This would be the original Fairports’ line-up with Judy Dyble on vocals
Wed. Aug 9thRoot and Jenny Jackson with the Hightimers (£30)

Root Jackson is cited as an inspiration by much more recent acts such as Mica Paris, Jamiroquai and Soul II Soul. With cousin Jenny, he toured with people like Percy Sledge and Ben E. King, and later formed the Black Music Association in the UK

Sat. Aug 12th – The Gothics Jazzband (£25) from payment letter

Sun. Aug 13thHopscotch (£10)

Those Scots of St James have recruited another, Hamish Stuart, and become Hopscotch, but they’re still not the Average White Band yet

Sun. Aug 13th The Artwoods (£65) from payment letter

Wed. Aug 16thThe Battery (£10)
Wed. Aug 16thThe Web with J. L. Watson (£30)
J.L. Watson was the obligatory black US singer recruited by The Web to reinforce their soul outfit credentials
Sat. Aug 19thBob Wallis Storyville Jazz Band (£30)
Sun. Aug 20thThe Chickenshalk [sic] (£10)
Following their debut at The 7th National Jazz & Blues Festival at Windsor exactly a week before tonight, Christine Perfect had not yet joined Stan Webb’s Chicken Shack (for it is they, despite the misquoted name) at this point, prior to hitting gold with “I’d Rather Go Blind” in 1969. At that point, she left, forming her own short-lived band (with original Yardbird Top Topham, incidentally) and then joining hubbie John McVie in rival blues outfit – at that time, obviously – Fleetwood Mac. Meanwhile, Stan became famous for having the world’s longest guitar lead, as he’d venture out amongst the crowd, still soloing away

Sun. Aug 20th – Champion Jack Dupree (£40) from payment letter, but band list for August has CJD & Velvet Opera as backing
Wed. Aug 23rdJohn Jefferson Group (£10)
Wed. Aug 23rdSweet and Sour (£25)
Sat. Aug 26thCollie’s Rhythm Aces (£30)
Sun. Aug 27thMorgan’s Roots (£10)
Sun. Aug 27thTen Years After (£25)
Wed. Aug 30thDown and Outs (£10)

Wed. Aug 30th – The Artwoods (£45) as per band list for August
This appears to be the final Artwoods appearance at Eel Pie Island. Later in the year, they would undergo an ill-advised makeover to become St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, trying to cash in on the brief ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ fashion that sprang out of that year’s hit movie. Under that name, they released a version of “Brother Can You Spare A Dime”, and that was it

September 1967

Sat. Sep 2ndSteve Lane Southern Stompers (£25)
Bob Dwyer, trombonist with the Stompers, is still plying his trade with his Bix and Pieces band
Sun. Sep 3rdSavoy Brown Blues Band (£35)

Wed. Sep 6thMr. Soul and The Transaxion (£10)

Wed. Sep 6thHeart & Souls (£40)

This looks to be final payment letter from AC

Sat. Sep 9thSpencers Washboard Kings (£50)

Sun. Sep 10thAynsley Dunbar (£35)

Wed. Sep 13thThe Artwoods (£45)

Sat. Sep 16thHumber Jug Band (£10)

Sat. Sep 16thNew Sedalia Jazz Band (£25)

Sun. Sep 17thTen Years After (£30)

Wed. Sep 20thFreddy Mack Show (£75)

Sat. Sep 23rdRed Onion Jazz Band (£40)

Sun. Sep 24thThe Artwoods (£65)

Wed. Sep 27thThe Darlings (£30)

Sat. Sep 30thKen Colyer (£40)

Eelpiland as run by Arthur Chisnall ceased to operate in September 1967, following the Police’s revoking of the venue’s licence, while Chisnall himself was presented with an estimated bill for repairs that totalled £2,000 (£31,000 in today’s money), which was plainly an amount well above Arthur’s paygrade. The club, probably closed its doors from September 6th, meaning all contracts after that date (above) were not honoured (but are included for posterity), and jazz would never again feature. Owner Michael Snapper allowed it to reopen in May 1968, initially presenting gigs put on by “Southbank Artistes”, then Richmond Arts Workshop (organised by Grenville Sheringham, after he’d seen an interview with Michael Snapper in the local paper, in which Snapper had expressed his wish that the Hotel be put to community use, and hence rented the place for the Arts Workshop, with the subsequent gigs being organised to cover the Workshop’s costs), and a variety of other sporadic enterprises, before it was renamed Colonel Barefoot’s Rock Garden in 1969 when Caldwell Smythe took over its running. However, records of who played at the venue in its interim guise are hard to come by, other than some surviving posters, and individual testimonies that name-check The Who, The Nice, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and, again, Pink Floyd. Again, thanks are due to Nick Warburton and his site for the bulk of the next two years’ entries, and Caldwell Smythe himself who has confirmed a number of appearances during the Rock Garden phase, if not the dates.



July 1968

Wed. Jul 31stSpice

As previously mentioned, The Stalkers of 1966 resurfaced as Spice, featuring David Byron and Mick Box, who, a year later, would become Uriah Heep

Wed. Jul 31stSpooky Tooth

A number of this band had appeared on the Island in 1966 as The V.I.P.s (Mike Harrison on vocals, Greg Ridley on bass, with Mike Kellie on drums), and, together with latter member Luther Grosvenor on guitar, became Spooky Tooth in 1967, via an incarnation as Art. Ridley would go on to Humble Pie, Grosvenor to Mott The Hoople, and Kellie to post-punk outfit The Only Ones

August 1968

Wed. Aug 7thSpice
Wed. Aug 7thBlossom Toes

The year before this, Blossom Toes came out with “We Are Ever So Clean”, a quintessentially English psychedelic album on Giorgio Gomelsky’s ill-fated Marmalade label (Gomelsky being the man behind The Crawdaddy club in Richmond, of course). Guitarist Jim Cregan would become the man behind the wonderful acoustic solo on “(Make Me Smile) Come Up And See Me” in 1975, and thereafter plied his trade with Rod Stewart’s post Faces ensemble: recently he was further plying his trade with a bunch called Apart From Rod, who specialise in that material, albeit minus Mr Stewart. He’s still ploughing that furrow in 2017 appearing as Cregan and Co. performing “The Rod Stewart Songbook”

Wed. Aug 14thJuniors Eyes
Wed. Aug 14thSkip Bifferty
Geordies from the frozen north who became Heavy Jelly, initially a “Time Out” joke, but two of whom, Micky Gallagher and John Turnbull, became a pair of Ian Dury’s Blockheads, though not before they’d contributed to the soundtrack of Michael Caine’s “Get Carter”

Sat. Aug 17thDavid Booth

Billed as David Booth and His Canned Sound, so a DJ maybe, though “plus guest group”

Sun. Aug 18thThe Downliners Sect

Wed. Aug 21stJade Hexagram

Blessed with a suitably ‘1968-styled’ moniker, this outfit had a strong following in Europe, leading to them playing at The Playboy Club in Berlin, and at the 1967 Gothenburg Teenage Fair, which was apparently quite a big deal, Swedish-wise, though they were deported the day after, following their hiring of a lady who went further than only going topless on stage, and who turned out to be the daughter of the Mayor of Copenhagen

Wed. Aug 21stThe Crazy World of Arthur Brown
While Arthur played here a couple of times, there was at least one occasion when his headgear set the stage curtains alight, You can guess during which number, but you can hear Alan Winter’s recollection over on the “Listen!” page under “Your Memories”. Carl Palmer is by now occupying the drummer’s stool
Sat. Aug 24thDavid Booth

As per the previous week

Sun. Aug 25thGethsemane

Billed as a “Blues Night”, and having ditched the obviously unwieldy moniker “In The Garden Of Gethsemane”, this much catchier named crew featured future Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre

Wed. Aug 28thEast Of Eden
Wed. Aug 28thThe Nice
Local author Judy Astley remembers Keith Emerson doing the dagger trick, sticking them into his keyboards, thus jamming them into ‘play’ mode, then ending up off the stage, having to run round the side to get back on, and being prevented doing so by some sort of steward, who, on hearing the organ still playing, refused to believe Emerson was the organist in the band. Incidentally, those daggers may well have been the Hitler Youth ones gifted to Emerson by then roadie Lemmy

September 1968

Wed. Sep 4thThe Action

A seminal mod band dating back to 1965, their popularity on the circuit never translated into sales, and despite covering soul hits such as “Land Of A Thousand Dances”, “Harlem Shuffle” and “I’ll Keep Holding On” never reached the charts. After several changes of personnel and musical direction, they became Mighty Baby, appearing on the Island under that name just over a year later. Founder member Alan ‘Bam’ King later formed one-hit wonders Ace

Sun. Sep 8th Dynaflow Blues

Mel Wright from Dynaflow Blues contacted us during the project with this info and the fact they were paid the grand sum of £10 for their efforts: his lot were responsible for starting The Blues Scene nearby at The Crown in St. Margarets on a Saturday night, where occasionally Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke sat in. Tonight, however, regular blues-harpist Chris Elvin had left, so Duster Bennett stepped in. Most of the Dynaflow Blues band came out of Shakey Vick’s Big City Blues Band, and while guitarist Rod Price’s next venture was with Black Cat Bones and three decades with Foghat, Mel’s next venture, The Nighthawks, appeared on the Island sometime in the following year

Wed. Sep 11thThe Moody Blues
This is no longer The Moody Blues of “Go Now” fame, but in the process of becoming those of “Nights In White Satin” fame
Sat. Sep 14thGracious
Wed. Sep 18thThe Downliners Sect
Wed. Sep 18thFamily
Wed. Sep 25thVillage
A short-lived venture led by Peter Bardens, who had played with Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green in The Peter B’s, Rod Stewart in Shotgun Express, and would later do more successful things with prog outfit Camel
Wed. Sep 25thEclection
Sat. Sep 28thGracious

October 1968

Wed. Oct 2ndTerry Reid
More famous, possibly, for being the vocalist who didn’t sing in Led Zeppelin (he was offered the job by Jimmy Page, but chose to honour his contract with Mickie Most as a solo performer: at least he recommended Jimmy ask Robert Plant) , Reid nevertheless has been an undervalued artist for most of his career
Wed. Oct 2ndJoe Cocker & The Grease Band
This gas fitter from Sheffield is about to become enormous, albeit with a little help from his friends
Sat. Oct 5thGracious
Sun. Oct 6thJohn Thomas Blues Band
Wed. Oct 9thFreedom

Guitarist Ray Royer and drummer Bobby Harrison had played on Procol Harum’s “Whiter Shade Of Pale” but were given the boot by Gary Brooker, thence forming Freedom, clearly celebrating their new found status. They released a couple of German 45s and provided the film score for a Tinto Brass movie (!) before wholesale changes to their line-up in 1968 brought them here to the Island, as well as support gigs on Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull tours. After four albums or so, they split in 1972, with Harrison teaming up with Micky Moody (of this parish) to form Snafu

Wed. Oct 9thElmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera
Elmer Gantry had previous at Eel Pie Island as vocalist with The Five Proud Walkers, and surfaced some six years after tonight in an ersatz Fleetwood Mac, formed to fulfil a contractual tour that the originals were unable to do because of their internal shenanigans, which ended in legal chaos when audiences failed to recognise any bona-fide Mac members on stage. This outfit then evolved into Stretch, one-hit wonders, whose “Why Did You Do It?” was precisely about that experience. Jon Papworth, whose band The Stumble supported Velvet Opera, probably tonight, recalls how Elmer Gantry’s ‘fancy’ band-van’s driver mistook the high tide that evening as merely covering an equivalent bit of road, rather than the slipway that was actually concealed: cue ‘fancy’ van nosediving into the additional depth, and several velvet-clad musos escaping from the rear door, now at 90 degrees to its normal position! I imagine those velvet togs were rather ruined by old Father Thames…

Wed. Oct 16thJuly

July produced one of the most sought-after British psychedelic 60s albums, having started as a skiffle band in Ealing in the early part of the decade, and after embracing R&B as The Tomcats. During a relocation to Spain (scoring an unlikely series of four charting EPs, performed in Spanish no less), they were known as Los Tomcats, strangely. Even stranger, that Spanish material was released in 2016 as “Running At Shadows: The Spanish Recordings 1965-66”. Founder and singer Tom Newman has a local connection, in that he grew up on a barge moored at Richmond, but achieved a degree of fame in 1972/3 when he produced Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells at The Manor Studio, which he’d helped co-found with Richard Branson

Wed. Oct 16thColosseum
His days of The Graham Bond Organization long behind him, sax player Dick Heckstall-Smith returns with Jon Hiseman’s progressive jazz-rock pioneers
Wed. Oct 23rdDavid Booth
Wed. Oct 23rdProteus
Wed. Oct 23rdGethsemane
Wed. Oct 23rdThe Alan Bown!
Wed. Oct 30thProteus
Wed. Oct 30thEast Of Eden
While gaining an atypical hit record with “Jig-a-Jig” a full three years after tonight, violinist Dave Arbus is arguably more famous for his contribution to The Who’s “Baba O’Riley” just after that. Perhaps tonight was the start of that fruitful relationship
Wed. Oct 30thThe Who (£345 according to Kevin Hodge, whose father booked them)
Today’s entries are from a particular poster advertising this gig specifically. Despite Pete Townshend having lots of local history and co-opting the Eel Pie name for both his studio and book publishing company, Arthur Chisnall never booked The Who, fearing an invasion of scooter-borne Mods, but they did appear at Eel Pie Island during the ‘post-Chisnall’ era, when Townshend used the gig to try out some material he’d written for a ‘rock opera’ to be called “Tommy”. Witnesses suggested he stick to the three-minute single formula!

November 1968

Wed. Nov 6thThe Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Wed. Nov 13thJohn Mayall’s Bluesbreakers


January 1969

Fri. Jan 17th – Marque’s Group

Fri. Jan 17th – Pancake now known as Steppes

Fri. Jan 17th – Shaemushaemushaemus

Fri. Jan 17th – Muskrat Ramble

Fri. Jan 17th – Jo-Ann Kelly

All the above acts featured on the bill for a Benefit Ball for the Release organisation, organised by Richmond Area Free Press. This was advertised in Vol 1, No1 of the aforementioned Richmond Area Free Press magazine, which espoused virtues in common with the more famous ‘underground’ press prevalent at the time, such as Oz, and featured record reviews, poetry, “agitprop” information, as well as information on local events and a community service guide. It is not clear at this point how many issues RAFP went on to achieve, but this Issue No 1 has been loaned to the Museum by Garry Rutherford (the friend of one of our volunteers), who was in the line-up of the Muskrat Ramble band (on vocals and keyboards) who played on tonight’s bill. Jo-Ann Kelly went on to become one of the significant people still treading the boards in the British Blues scene during the early 70s. Mostly her stuff was acoustic Blues, and, of course, being a woman rather marked her out as a rarity in a predominantly male genre. Jo-Ann’s brother Dave Kelly helms The Blues Band, along with Paul Jones, the ex-Manfred

February 1969

Fri. Feb 7thIan Whitcomb with Turnstyle
Ian Whitcomb had hit the heady heights of #8 in the American Billboard charts in 1965 with “You Turn Me On”, where he remained thereafter as nothing he did sold in the UK. When he did return to the UK, he embarked on a successful writing career, but tonight he has Turnstyle in attendance (Mark Ashton from Turnstyle later went on to drum for Rare Bird)

Fri. Feb 7thThe Pretty Things
At this point, The Pretty Things would have been promoting the previous year’s epic “S.F. Sorrow” album to little commercial avail, leading to guitarist Dick Taylor’s departure a few months later. Unfortunately, despite the poster in existence that confirms this date, Jackie Elvy contacted our Eel Pie Island Museum Facebook page to tell us that she arrived on a freezing night for this one, only to be told that the gig had been cancelled, as the band couldn’t get their gear over the bridge, due to the ice. This has since been backed up by Len Woolford, who visited the Museum in June, further pointing out he didn’t get his 12/6 back. So maybe that explains why Phil May reckoned they never played on the Island!

Sat. Feb 8thVan Der Graaf Generator (from )

Sat. Feb 8thPegasus
Fri. Feb 14thEdgar Broughton
Fri. Feb 14thJuniors Eyes

Junior’s Eyes were responsible for the intriguingly titled album, “Battersea Power Station”, but later this year, guitarist Mick Wayne guested (amongst others) on David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” single and I think all of the Eyes were on Bowie’s resultant eponymous first album

Fri. Feb 14thRoy Harper

July 1969

Sat. Jul 26thHawkwind Zoo

Sat. Jul 26thStray

The Hotel was closed (again) at this time, but Grenville Sheringham had rented it to house the Richmond Arts Workshop. Both Hawkwind Zoo and Stray rang Sheringham wanting the chance to play at the Island. Despite not knowing them, Sheringham agreed, they played for free (to Sheringham), and the gig acted as Sheringham and three friends’ 21st birthday party, with about 400 punters turning up. I guess this persuaded the Arts Workshop to continue to put gigs on for fundraising purposes

August 1969

Thu. Aug 7thSpice (from )


It seems likely that Caldwell Smythe’s tenure as Colonel Barefoot himself started at this point, though John Lethbridge, who worked the Mass Spectrometer Light Show, asserts it was not until December 29th (see below) that the Colonel “steamed in”, citing the fact that Richmond Arts Workshop gigs were on Wednesdays and Fridays, and that Smythe changed the nights of operation to became Fridays and Saturdays.


October 1969

Fri. Oct 3rdMighty Baby

Mighty Baby evolved from the ashes of The Action, who appeared here early in 1968

Fri. Oct 10thGrope

Fri. Oct 10thStray

Fri. Oct 17thMedicine Hat (sic)

Could this have actually been Medicine Head, purveyors of an album called “Dark Side Of The Moon” before someone else was? Assuming it was, as they were certainly on the circuit at this point, their demo of “His Guiding Hand” was released as a single on John Peel’s Dandelion label in 1969, and while they went on to chart success with four singles, none of their subsequent albums repeated that success. Their final album was recorded in Pete Townshend’s Eel Pie Studio in 1976, and they broke up a year later. Both members continued in the music biz, and guitarist John Fiddler is often to be seen performing around these parts, like at Strawberry Hill Music Day a year or two back. Having said all that, when John Fiddler visited the Museum recently, he confirmed that there was indeed an outfit calling themselves Medicine Hat, so this could indeed have been them, though he maintains Medicine Head did play the Island

Fri. Oct 17thSteve Miller’s Delivery

Nothing to do with “The Joker” provider of later years

Fri. Oct 24thHawkwind Zoo(from )

Hawkwind have yet to find their “Silver Machine” and go “In Search Of Space”, but they are led by Eel Pie Island habitué of the early 60s Dave Brock (who schooled a young Eric Clapton in some early guitar chords back then). According to the ‘pooterland’ site (see below), they are actually billed as Hawkwind Zoo tonight: it would be a wee while later that they dropped the “Zoo” tag

Fri. Oct 24thStray

Fri. Oct 31stSnake

Fri. Oct 31stIf

I suppose you could argue that If represent the return of Jazz to the Island, but their Jazz-Rock leanings are probably a million miles from the Trad arbiters of yore, though Dick Morrissey and his tenor sax had been here with his quartet back in August 1966, playing with Jimmy Witherspoon

Fri, Oct 31stEgg (£3 as per Caldwell Smythe)

(from since closed)

Tricky time signatures from these Canterbury progsters, who I much preferred to their overblown oppos, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and who were led by Dave Stewart (not the Eurythmic one) who had chart success with both Barbara Gaskin and ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone in the 80s. As Caldwell Smythe recalls paying Egg only £3, that suggests they were supporting If tonight

November 1969

Wed. Nov 5thRapture

Wed. Nov 5thClouds

Fri. Nov 7thTara’s Harp

Fri. Nov 7thPete Brown’s Piblokto

Pete Brown was Jack Bruce’s lyricist, but evidently his vocal style didn’t impress his own band, The Battered Ornaments, as they sacked him the day before they played on the bill at Hyde Park, supporting the Stones. However, he bounced back with Piblokto, who featured respected Scots guitarist Jim Mullen

Wed. Nov 12thFat Daughter

Wed. Nov 12thAlexis Korner (£75 as per Caldwell Smythe)

Caldwell Smythe was managing Alexis Korner at this time

Fri. Nov 14thTobias Wragg

Fri. Nov 14thWarm Dust

On the heels of If’s jazz-rock leanings come Warm Dust, who weren’t to set the world alight, but did feature Paul Carrack, later of one-hit wonders Ace, and later credits with stints in Squeeze (notably “Tempted”) and Mike & The Mechanics, Mike Rutherford of Genesis fame’s spin-off band

Wed. Nov 19thStrawberry Blues

Wed. Nov 19thVirgin Hearse

Wed. Nov 19thRadha Krishna Temple

“Hare Krishna Mantra” strains from George Harrison’s Buddhist buddies, supported by someone called Virgin Hearse? Wow! Former lead guitarist Keith Simpson has been in touch to point out that Virgin Hearse were a blues/rock group from Oxford, and not a person, which I may have implied! They did a couple of demos for Polydor and EMI, but that was it

Fri. Nov 21stTrain

Fri. Nov 21stBattered Ornaments

Pete Brown’s former band featured Chris Spedding, a respected session guitarist who would later feature in a number TV appearances as a greased-up biker for “Motorbikin'”, as well as that of one of The Wombles in full Womble gear. Variety, as they say…

Wed. Nov 26thTara’s Harp

Wed. Nov 26thGreatest Show On Earth

The name doesn’t appear to have worked in their favour, particularly, though they did get to #1 in Switzerland with “Real Cool World” in 1970. However, they did feature within their ranks bassist extraordinaire, Norman Watt-Roy who, of course has featured in Ian Dury’s Blockheads line-up since “New Boots And Panties”, and is also currently working with Wilko Johnson

Fri. Nov 28thHawkwind Zoo

Fri. Nov 28thMandrake

Or Mandrake Paddle Steamer to give them their full name

Sat. Nov 29thNemesis

Sat. Nov 29thAmazing Gas Medicine Show and Junk Band

December 1969

Wed. Dec 3rdOld Nick’s Train Set

Wed. Dec 3rdEdgar Broughton Band

Fri. Dec 5thCochise

Fri. Dec 5thAndwella’s Dream

Andwella’s Dream were from Northern Ireland, and were responsible for one of the most valuable albums around: despite failing to sell on its release, “Love And Poetry” commands about £1000 these days, in mint condition, of course. And mine is. Despite suitably psychedelic origins, guitarist/vocalist Dave Lewis went on to write “Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun” which was taken into the charts by Demis Roussos in 1975. Now there’s a name I didn’t expect to be mentioning here

Sat. Dec 6thDawn

Wed. Dec 10thSkin Alley

Skin Alley were responsible for one of the better tracks, “Living In Sin”, on the CBS sampler, “Fill Your Head With Rock”, released the following year. They featured one Thomas Crimble, who went on to play bass in Hawkwind

Sat. Dec 20thWishbone Ash

At this point, Wishbone Ash had only been together for two months, but their novel use of twin lead guitars held them in good stead when their first album was released just a year after tonight. They’d peak in 1972 when “Argus” was voted Melody Maker’s album of the year

Sat. Dec 20thAudience (both above from )

Round about now, Audience, meanwhile, were commissioned to write the film score for the critically acclaimed East End Skinhead flick, Bronco Bullfrog

Entries for 1969 otherwise obtained from courtesy of Nick Warburton and itself sourced from Melody Maker and Mick Capewell’s Marmalade Skies, or from (Oct 3rd to Dec 5th apart from the first Hawkwind and Egg entries, which I knew about already) as spotted by Phil Emerson.

The following were due to appear in 1970 according to contemporary posters, unless otherwise indicated:


January 1970

Fri. Jan 23rdEire Apparent

These were Belfast Boys who must have thought that they’d cracked it, having their only LP produced by Jimi Hendrix, and also including him playing on it: unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way

Sat. Jan 24thVan Der Graaf Generator

Van Der Graaf Generator were a darker progressive band than most, but typified a prevalence of musically intricate, but commercially unsuccessful outfits at this time. The number of different line-ups is impossible to detail here, but the constant Peter Hammill has consistently been quoted as an influence on all sorts of folk

February 1970

Fri. Feb 6thToe Fat

Back in 1962, Cliff Bennett had appeared on the first ever ‘non-jazz’ bill when Wednesdays became the norm for ‘Beat’, Pop or R&B groups. By this time he’d reinvented himself as a ‘heavy rocker’ with Toe Fat, who produced one of the ugliest album covers ever

Sat. Feb 7th Siren

Maverick songster Kevin Coyne featured in the ranks of Siren, but achieved a degree of cult status in the mid-70s under his own name

Sat. Feb 7th Medicine Head

It definitely says Medicine Head on the poster for tonight

Sat. Feb 7th John Peel

The esteemed DJ brings his record collection to the Island, along with two of his Dandelion label signings, Siren and Medicine Head

Fri. Feb 13thMighty Baby (from Melody Maker via Clive Whichelow)

Sat. Feb 14th Principal Edwards Magic Theatre (from )

It was probably the most crowded the stage had been in years for this 14-strong performance art collective

Fri. Feb 20thFree

This still some months away from their massive “Alright Now” hit

Sat. Feb 21stStray

Fri. Feb 27th Mandrake

Sat. Feb 28th Glass Menagerie

This was on the heels of a European Tour with John Mayall, but they split up not much later. Singer and organist Lou Stonebridge went on to play with the likes of McGuinness-Flint and The Blues Band, while guitarist Alan Kendall joined Cliff Bennett’s Toe Fat before replacing Vince Melouney in The Bee Gees in 1971, and stayed with them until 2003. That means he featured on “Saturday Night Fever”!

March 1970

Tue. Mar 3rdLittle Free Rock (from )

Fri. Mar 6thShades

Sat. Mar 7thJohn Dummer Band

Sat. Mar 7thMay Blitz

These were a short-lived power-trio that recorded a couple of albums before disbanding in 1971. Drummer Tony Newman had played with Jeff Beck, but went on to Three Man Army, before being decommissioned by the arrival of Ginger Baker in that band

Fri. Mar 13thWriting On The Wall

Sat. Mar 14thClimax Chicago Blues Band

Fri. Mar 20thSam Apple Pie

A jobbing boogie/blues-rock outfit, Sam Apple Pie would appear at the first ever Glastonbury Festival later this year. The singer, Sam Sampson, used to take to the stage wearing a stove-pipe hat

Sat. Mar 21stStray

Fri. Mar 27thToe Fat

Sat. Mar 28thShades

April 1970

Fri. Apr 3rdEasy Leaf
Fri. Apr 3rdLittle Free Rock
Sat. Apr 4thWhite Lightning
Sat. Apr 4thMott The Hoople (£115 as per Caldwell Smythe)
This is Mott when they were a jobbing rock band, years before Bowie gifted them a lifeline. According to Caldwell Smythe, the place was totally packed out for this one
Fri. Apr 10thGenesis
Fri. Apr 10thJan Dukes De Grey
Differing fortunes for tonight’s double bill: while everyone knows about Jan Dukes De Grey and their 1971 opus “Mice and Rats in the Loft”, whatever happened to Genesis? Seriously though, Jan Dukes De Grey were bonkers enough to insist that they needed to be seated, cross-legged in a meditation tent in order to be recorded properly, a whim which producer David Hitchcock indulged them, though not to any discernible difference to his ears, whereas, of course, anyone who witnessed Peter Gabriel’s increasingly unhinged stage outfits in his latter Genesis days may have been inclined to think he was just as bonkers. Whatever, this looks to have been a very early Genesis gig, coming off the back of a residency at Ronnie Scott’s, after they’d honed their act in a three month tour of the nation’s colleges, including a couple of appearances at nearby Twickenham Tech in Egerton Road (the poster for tonight states they were appearing “By Demand”, indicating an earlier – date unspecified – gig on the Island back in December had gone down well ). They got £5 for the Island gig (though Caldwell Smythe disputes this, stating that all support bands got no more than £3 an appearance, as he was being offered money by bands’ managers to put them on), and £50 from the college one. Either way, you can see where the money was in those days. Four months after tonight, local lad Phil Collins would join Genesis on drums
Sat. Apr 11thCracious [sic]
I assume this is meant to be Gracious!, whose exclamation mark was added into their name when their first album cover was being designed this year
Sat. Apr 11thEast Of Eden
Fri. Apr 17thWhite Lightning
Fri. Apr 17thTaste
Rory Gallagher brings his Irish blues-rock trio to town, and though they would split up shortly after the Isle of Wight Festival in August – where this scribe witnessed them come back for at least five encores – Rory forged a respected career for years after
Sat. Apr 18thStray
Stray had the dubious distinction of being managed by one Charlie Kray at some point, but guitarist Del Bromham holds the distinction of being one of very few musicians to have played on the Island, as well as the present-day Eel Pie Club, as he does regularly with his Blues Devils
Fri. Apr 24thSmile
While this could have been an early outing for Brian May and his homemade guitar before global superstardom some years later, it turns out that there was another Smile treading the boards, who were a low-key acoustic duo, and tonight probably featured these

Fri. Apr 24thClimax Chicago Blues Band (£125 as per Caldwell Smythe)

Coming out of the blues-fuelled boom of the late 60s, Peter Haycock and Colin Cooper touted their Climax Chicago act around for years before finally landing a hit in 1976 with “Couldn’t Get It Right”. Following innumerable line-up changes and at least a score of albums recorded, there is still an outfit treading the boards under the name

Sat. Apr 25thShades

May 1970

Fri. May 1stAlma Mater

Fri. May 1stPrincipal Edwards Magic Theatre (from )

“Featuring their 31 Stone Rock’n’Roll Roadie” according to the poster

Sat. May 2ndBoris

It says “Ex-Colosseum” on the poster, but I can find no reference to these using that connection


The above two entries are as according to the poster for May, while below…?


Sat. May 2ndEast Of Eden (from )

Fri. May 8thIron Maiden

Not the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal merchants popularising spandex and big   hair during the 80s, this lot were a comparatively tamer outfit from Basildon

Fri. May 8thGinger Johnson & His Drummers

Fri. May 8thLittle Free Rock (from )

Fri. May 9thGenesis

Fri. May 9thJulian’s Treatment

Genesis sure picked their support slots: following on from Jan Dukes De Grey in April, this time their second on the bill to this outfit, centred around keyboardist Julian Savarin, whose eventual album was a kind of opera about an Atlantis-styled lost civilisation on the planet Akron, whereby the last Earthman encounters Altarra, who is “the embodiment of all womankind”. What tosh we had to put up with during the nascent prog era…

Fri. May 15thTiny Clanger (from advert)

Fri. May 15thBlack Sabbath (£250 as per Caldwell Smythe)

(from )

A matter of weeks after tonight, Black Sabbath went into the studio and dashed off “Paranoid” in about 20 minutes flat, as an afterthought for their new album, and look what happened after that. According to Caldwell Smythe, there was a good crowd present for this

Sat. May 16thNemesis (from advert)

Sat. May 16thShy Limbs (from advert)

Shy Limbs had featured Greg Lake in their line-up, but he’d departed a year or so earlier for King Crimson

Fri. May 22ndWriting On The Wall (from )

Willy Finlayson came south from Scotland with Writing On The Wall, and has been hereabouts ever since

Sat. May 23rdShades

Fri. May 29thThird Ear Band

Third Ear Band’s initial line-up, instrumentally, was violin, cello, oboe, and perscussion. It would be interesting to know how that went down at the island. Nevertheless, following a couple of albums, and a large revolving door of varied musicians, including Simon House (who went onto Hawkwind and David Bowie), and Keith Chegwin (!), they did a lot of soundtrack recording

Sat. May 30th Savoy Brown

June 1970

Fri. Jun 5thMetropolitan Grease Force
Fri. Jun 5thAlma Mater
Fri. Jun 5thWild Angels

These were a retro rock’n’roll outfit, harking back to the 50s, perhaps obviously. The year before, they’d backed Gene Vincent on his comeback tour

Sat. Jun 6thGinger Johnson’s African Drummers

If you’ve ever seen “The Stones In The Park” film, the drummers that came on stage during “Sympathy For The Devil” were this lot. A noted Nigerian percussionist, Ginger Johnson also played with all manner of Eel Pie alumni, including Georgie Fame, Brian Auger, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Hawkwind and even Genesis apparently. His own band was actually called His African Messengers

Sat. Jun 6thLittle Free Rock
Sat. Jun 6thEdgar Broughton (£150 as per Caldwell Smythe)
This bunch of hairy underground merchants had unbelievably charted with their rallying cry, albeit at #31, “Out Demons Out”. According to Caldwell Smythe, again a good crowd was in evidence for this

Fri. Jun 12thBlack Velvet

Black Velvet evolved out of The Coloured Raisins, who had appeared on the Island back in 1966. However, as Black Velvet, they had a great single out round about now, “African Velvet”, which I heard a lot at the time, but have only ever since heard it once, on Greater London Radio when that was around. Only recently has the song surfaced on YouTube

Fri. Jun 12thThunderzone
Apparently these are White Lightning who appeared here back in April, following a name-change. Not only that, but it is also Caldwell Smythe’s band, and apparently Chris Blackwell of Island records fame came to see them, and promptly offered a three LP deal, as well as a spot down the bill for a US tour, all of which was scuppered by the band’s (unnamed) “ego-tripping lead guitarist, and his idiotic Harley Street doctor / employer / advisor”: obviously went down well with Caldwell.

Fri. Jun 12thDeep Purple (£325 as per Caldwell Smythe)
Ritchie Blackmore and chums are only two months away from their huge “Black Night” hit, and tonight represents a return to Eel Pie Island for keyboard wiz, Jon Lord, last seen here with The Artwoods. Unless there was an earlier date by Deep Purple, it would be this one that Caldwell Smythe reckons he lost heavily, given the payout: poorly attended? One 16 year-old attendee that night recalled (albeit with hindsight) “crossing the footbridge on to Eel Pie, and through a Harry Potter-esque mist was this decrepit old hotel with a ballroom”. The gig was “pivotal” as far as Tony James was concerned, and led to him forming his first school group. Six years after tonight, he had formed Generation X with Billy Idol during the punk explosion’s early days

Sat. Jun 13thJunction
Sat. Jun 13thSemper Vivum
Sat. Jun 13thGypsy

At the end of the following year, this scribe witnessed Gypsy at a John Peel In Concert recording: out of Leicester, I concluded that they were decent enough guitar-led outfit, with some good, tight vocal harmonies, not a million miles away from CSN

Fri. Jun 19thRapture
Fri. Jun 19thFree
I can only imagine the place is rammed for this one: “All Right Now” was at this point heading up the charts for the first time. Well, it would have been, had they appeared, but for precisely that reason, Free pulled out of tonight’s gig, presumably having larger fish to fry. While that is from Alan Winter’s personal testimony, and he did share a place with Simon Kirke, then again, John Marks recalls seeing Free twice at the island, the first time for 2/6 (or 12 and ½ pence in new money) but that the entry was ramped up for this one precisely because of their chart success, causing consternation to Paul Kossoff, as Free were not getting paid any more. Caldwell Smythe further muddies the waters by confirming that Free did not show for this one tonight, though he did pay them £250 on another occasion when it was packed out

Sat. Jun 20thBone
Sat. Jun 20thSteve Miller Delivery [sic]
Steve Miller’s Delivery, as they should have been billed, contained a number of musicians associated with the ‘Canterbury Scene’, also including saxophonist Lol Coxhill, and Miller himself appeared in a later line-up of Caravan, having, interestingly, guested on yesterday’s (scheduled) headliners Free’s debut, “Tons Of Sobs” in 1969
Fri. Jun 26thTiny Clanger
Fri. Jun 26thThe Amazing “Shades”  (£30 as per Caldwell Smythe)
Amazingly, Shades have become just that, and acquired additional quotes around their name since April. Then again, as they were good buddies with Caldwell Smythe, who gave them regular gigs on the Island, I guess that would help to elevate their status

Sat. Jun 27thBlood Son
Sat. Jun 27thEast Of Eden

This was a busy night according to Caldwell Smythe, though as they had three dates here in just over two months, it’s not certain whether his comments apply to tonight: maybe all of them?

July 1970

Fri. Jul 3rdJody Grind

Based around keyboardist Tim Hinkley, Jody Grind were by this time veering toward a rock-oriented direction, thus away from their jazz-leaning beginnings. Following the release of the dubiously entitled “Far Canal”, which was a commercial flop, they disbanded, with Hinkley and drummer Pete Gavin going on to join Vinegar Joe, who boasted the vocal talents of both Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer

Sat. Jul 4thNemesis Blues Band

Sat. Jul 4thBlack Cat Bones

By this time, this line-up of Black Cat Bones (having been away for a few years) would be the one that would soon change their name to Leafhound, and record and release one of the rarest albums ever. And of course, singer Pete French is once again fronting a modern line-up of that band, and regularly appearing at the present day Eel Pie Club

Fri. Jul 10thTony Dee & The Memphis Index

The poster promises “Another Rock’n’Roll Night”

Sat. Jul 11thSpirit of John Morgen (sic)

John Morgan was the organist in this band, holding onto R&B values while the rest of the world was diving into progressive waters

Fri. Jul 17thNoir

Fri. Jul 17thThunderzone

“The heaviest 3-piece in the world” according to (probably Caldwell Smythe’s) their blurb, and I don’t suppose the reference is to their combined tonnage

Sat. Jul 18thStray

Fri. Jul 24thPink Fairies

The darlings of the “Underground”, who sprang out of Mick Farren’s band, The (Social) Deviants…RIGHT ON

Sat. Jul 25thGroundhogs

After a gap of a number of years, this is the Groundhogs more associated with the album “Thank Christ For The Bomb” rather than their earlier 60s liaisons with John Lee Hooker

Fri. Jul 31stLady Fee

Fri. Jul 31stClark Hutchinson

Andy Clark and Mitch Hutchinson specialised in lengthy hard rock improvised jams flavoured with an Eastern influence: I’ve seen this described as “Indo-Prog / Raga Rock”. Whatever floats your boat, I guess, but they did recruit a bassist called Stephen Amazing. Really

August 1970

Sat. Aug 1stBlack Widow

The poster promises “There will be no restrictions made on this group’s act”. That’ll be down to the promised use of satanic and occult imagery in their stage act, then. Best known for their “Come To The Sabbat” track, drummer Romeo Challenger joined at some point during this year, but would achieve pop success with Showaddywaddy years later (think “Three Steps To Heaven”: that’s him doing the ‘step count’)

Fri. Aug 7thNational Head Band

National Head Band include Lee Kerslake on drums, who had played in The Gods with Mick Taylor, but who would later pitch up in Uriah Heep

Fri. Aug 7thNoir

A “heavy black group” according to the poster

Sat. Aug 8thGinhouse

This lot won the 1970 Melody Maker Talent Contest: much good it seems to have done them

Sat. Aug 8thStackridge

Stackridge originally had a bassist known as Jim ‘Crun’ Walter, which was particularly apposite as the the original little old ladies collecting the bridge toll were inevitably referred to as ‘Min’ and ‘Henry’, as in “Crun”, as in the Goons’ characters. I recall Stackridge betraying a degree of levity not particularly prevalent in those prog-oriented years, and while ‘Crun’ went off bricklaying for a while, he’s since returned, and there was a Stackridge reunion in 2017. A month after tonight, Stackridge opened (and also closed, but not at the same time) the very first Glastonbury Festival

Sat. Aug 15thBerlin

Sat. Aug 15thSteamhammer

Steamhammer boasted the talents of Martin Quittenton on guitar, who’d later turn up as a writing partner of Sir Roderick of Stewart on “Maggie May”


The above two entries are as according to the poster for August, while below…?


Sat. Aug 15thFusion Orchestra (from )

Fri. Aug 21stMaya

Fri. Aug 21stTiny Clanger

Sat. Aug 22ndThe Few

Entries for both Aug 21st and Aug 22nd supplied by Clive Whichelow from his huge collection of back copies of Melody Maker. Oh, and he was a member of The Few

Sat. Aug 22ndAfrican Drummers

This is all that’s shown on the Melody Maker ad, but assume these to be Ginger Johnson’s outfit as described in the entry for June 6th

Sat. Aug 22ndLittle Free Rock

Led by Peter Illingworth from Preston, this ‘psychedelic hard rock’ trio were originally called Purple Haze, changing their name for obvious reasons. They played regularly at both The Roundhouse and The Marquee Club, and for a while featured Peter Green within their ranks. Mr Illingworth himself had previously appeared on the Island with David John & The Mood in 1964

Fri. Aug 28thGinger

Is this the oft-appearing Ginger Johnson?

Sat. Aug 29thThunderzone

September 1970

Fri. Sep 4thPatto

These would become a cult band in the best sense of the phrase – a bizarre, idiosyncratic outfit who sold very little, but were highly respected, having an exciting live act, and boasted the mercurial talents of guitarist (and vibes player) Ollie Halsall

Fri. Sep 4thSupertramp

We are several years away from “Breakfast In America” here

Sat. Sep 5thBram Stoker

A heavy quartet, though coming from Bournemouth, formed in Brighton, and who nevertheless managed to get rather pigeonholed with the “Progressive-Classical-Rock-Gothic-Psychedelic Rock” label, as you do. Their sole release was the fearsome looking “Heavy Rock Spectacular” album, but apparently guitarist Pete Ballam’s legendary “Doppler” (a spinning speaker cabinet) had to be seen – and heard – to be believed

Sat. Sep 5thAlan Bown

Fri. Sep 11thToe Fat

Sat. Sep 12thHowl

Sat. Sep 12thTir-na-nOg

A duo who were proponents of intricate Celtic-influenced acoustica

Sat. Sep 12thPrincipal Edward’s Magic Theatre

Fri. Sep 18thEast Of Eden

“AT LAST” it says on the poster, so I guess these were welcome returnees

Sat. Sep 19thDuster Bennett

A respected blues performer (one-man-band style with guitar, bass drum and harp), often Duster was aided by Peter Green and Top Topham, and recorded a number of albums on the Blue Horizon label. Sadly Bennett dies in a traffic accident driving home after appearing with Memphis Slim in the Midlands six years after tonight

Fri. Sep 25thStray

Sat. Sep 26thShades

October 1970

Fri. Oct 30thLittle Free Rock (from )

November 1970

Sat. Nov 14thFusion Orchestra (from )

Following auditions for a front man on vocals, the impressive Jill Saward was recruited, and tonight was only her second gig with Fusion Orchestra. She would later achieve chart success with Shakatak

Sat. Nov 21stQuintessence (from )

Indian trance and Eastern mantras land on the Island, direct from Notting Hill Gate

=========This is the last documented gig performed on Eel Pie Island=============

As I point out, perhaps obviously, there are a number of gaps in this roll-call, and certainly the presence of a contract for an artist for a given date is no guarantee the date was fulfilled, though it seems that Arthur Chisnall was fairly rigorous in updating contracts to reflect such changes, and of course, the same principle applies to poster-driven information. Naturally, if anyone out there can help fill in some of the blanks, please do not hesitate to get in touch, through the Contact page on this site.

Pete Watt
Site Admin

April 2014

Postscript: Various folk have got in touch since this Roll-Call was first compiled, giving us personal reminiscences, but invariably, they hadn’t been as much of an anorak as I have been, in meticulously recording when they occurred. Nevertheless, Simon Fallon remembers The Bee Gees, and them performing “New York Mining Disaster 1941”, and David Mansell remembers playing on the island with The Shades Of Blue, as support to John Mayall, and that it was the night the film crew from Berlin were in evidence, and as Mayall was so late, the crew filmed The Shades instead: I’d love to get a fix on that date! Steve Milton remembers chatting to The Overlanders on the lawn before they went on. George Hill got in touch to tell us of his band, The Charge, who played as support for, amongst others, Pink Floyd, The Artwoods and The Herd: The Charge also featured a young Phil Collins on drums for a while. Other names mentioned by Island-goers but with no substantiating dates are Stubby Kaye, Buck Clayton, George Chisholm, The Dutch Swing College (!), Muddy Waters, Zoot Money and his Big Roll Band, Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson, Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band, The Grebbels, and Sour Milk Sea.

Keep them coming, folks!

Additionally, since we opened a pop-up Eel Pie Island Museum at Twickenham Library in June 2015, visitors have included someone whose name I didn‘t catch who played in The Sugarshacks, supporting The Downliners Sect; Eddie Parpworth, whose The Stumble racked up 28 weeks as a support band in 1968, backing the likes of the Nice, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and Elmer Gantry’s Velvet Opera; Adrian Hawkins, whose band Horse played in 1970 previewing their album “For Twisted Minds Only” (which coincidentally was re-released in 2016). Trevor visited the Museum, telling tales of managing an outfit called Them: unfortunately an Irishman over in Belfast had the same idea, and fared rather better, so this Them became Themselves. As usual, none of the aforementioned can supply dates, so they get an honourable mention here instead! John Marks remembers Peter Green doing a farewell gig for the commune (1970?), outside the hotel, with Hell’s Angels in attendance as the obligatory security, with them peppering skinheads’ scooters across the reach on the Ham side with powerful catapults.

September 2015

In December 2016, Caldwell Smythe got in touch, and while he was unable to provide dates, he did submit a list of bands he remembered, together with amounts paid (in some cases). A number of these are already detailed in the Roll-Call, but additionally Caldwell cites Atomic Rooster (£150), Caravan, Keef Hartley Band, Junior’s Eyes, The Idle Race, Juicy Lucy, Love Sculpture, Rare Bird, The Strawbs, Uriah Heep (very busy), Tuesday’s Children, Yes (£125, and packed out), Spooky Tooth (£175 and a good crowd), and Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation (£175 and busy). 60s survivors from the early days, The Nashville Teens are also mentioned in dispatches. Further appearances by bands who played during the Chisnall era, such as Family, Fairport Convention (£200 and very busy) and Savoy Brown Blues Band (£125) are mentioned as well as a busy night when John Peel brought his record collection along.

Subsequently, in 2017, Neil O’Reilly got in touch, recalling playing on the Island early in 1965, drumming for an outfit called the Westsiders, and Music Heritage UK put out an interview with Dave Brock, wherein he recalls playing with his band the Dharma Blues Band during jazz bands’ intervals on a Saturday, long before his Hawkwind outfit appeared. Mark Pickthall remembers The Pink Fairies “playing on the lawn” in 1970, which sounds like it could be linked to the Peter Green outdoor gig, not unsurprisingly, given The Fairies’ tendencies towards free / underground gigs.

The Eel Pie Island Museum finally opened in more permanent premises in February 2018, so I can add The Target, who were Wilson Pickett’s backing band when he toured over here. Tim Boulting remembers seeing Genesis supporting Free, with stages set up at either end of the ballroom, easing the changeover, I guess. No date for that one, but it does tie in with Caldwell Smythe’s info that suggests that bill did take place: perhaps the December 1969 gig noted in the April 10th 1970 Genesis gig.

Christopher Hjort requested info on The Muskrats, a short-lived blues outfit consisting of Peter Green (on bass!), Dave Bidwell (later Savoy Brown and Chicken Shack) on drums, and Roger Pearce (later John Dummer Blues Band) on guitar. They only lasted between February and September 1965 but both Roger and Peter are adamant they played a support gig on the Island. Catherine Lang has answered a shout-out on the fact, and has confirmed they did play.

Gillian contacted us, recalling seeing Son House at Eel Pie. She remembers it was a “lovely hot evening”, and she was standing behind Eric Clapton. This would have been June or July 1970, which is when he toured Europe (he had toured in October 1967, but that would have been after Arthur Chisnall had closed the original Eelpiland club).

A lady visiting the Museum in June 2019 remembers seeing Little Stevie Wonder as a support act! This would have been in ‘63/64, but unfortunately, she couldn’t recall who it was he supported.

Bruce Gubbins visited the Museum in August 2019 with information about The Hugh Douglas Orchestra, mentioned at the very beginning of this chronology, of which his father was a member. Apparently, there was no Hugh Douglas involved, but the band-leader was Doug Greening, with said father Ernest, but known as “Gubby”, taking on the leader’s duties at some stage (Ernest’s stage name was Eric Gibbs as his day job was with the LCC, ie the London County Council, who disapproved of their employees having second jobs). Bruce remembers that they played at the Clarendon Hall (York House) regularly: I don’t know whether that equates to the Twickenham “Palais” I previously referenced.

Peter Illingworth, who played lead guitar in David John & The Mood, contacted us in October 2019, remembering supporting Long John Baldry & The Hoochie Coochie Men in late 1964, and that LJB borrowed his guitar on that occasion, and also that Diz Disley was in The Hoochie Coochie Men at the time. Peter recalls “humping the gear over the bridge and that the place was packed. Steaming in fact. The floor was bouncing.”

In November 2019, a certain Tim Hill visited the museum, pointing out that it’s a photo of him with his band The Turnkeys that appears in Michele Whitby’s “Eel Pie Island” book, captioned “unknown singer giving it his all”. Unfortunately, he has no recollection of who they were supporting that night, or when it actually was. Always grateful for fragments.

Thanks to Des O’Byrne at the Grayshott Folk Club, who’s been into the Museum a couple of times, I have this from Alan Turner: “I was the drummer in Gary Farr and the T-Bones and we played Eel Pie Island many times. We had to park our van on the opposite bank and wheel our equipment over the little foot-bridge on a trolley! The problem was, our organist was Keith Emerson (ELP fame) and getting his Hammond on a trolley and wheeling it over was nightmare, it fell off many times although it never actually fell in the Thames!!” Not the first time the difficulty in ferrying a Hammond across to the Island has been referenced!

We got a wonderful festive gift when re-opening the museum on January 2020 when Mikey J Champion sent us a veritable glut of posters from the Colonel Barefoot’s Rock Garden era: Mikey used to work the Aural Plasma light-show set-up. Many thanks for that Mikey, and those updates are now included here!

In May 2020, Alan Hauser contacted our website with his recollection of him and his two turntables being hired for the Island to carry out mobile disco duties: he recalls two particular gigs, Rare Bird and King Crimson, and thinks they were consecutive weeks. Says Alan “My memories are that there were only about 20-30 people there.  Very much in the commune phase; mostly residents disinterestedly wandering in and out.  People insisted we only play ‘In A Gadda De Vida’, which meant we had nothing to do for the 17 minutes duration. And then to play it again…  Big blow heaters unsuccessfully trying to warm the place.  Being propositioned and pestered by a stoned gay hippie which was an eye-opener for a suburban teenager.”

In Andrew Humphreys’ excellent “Raving Upon Thames”, published in November 2021, he recounts an interview given by John Steel, formerly the drummer with The Animals, where he recalls the significance of a gig The Animals had played on the Island in January 1964: in the audience that night were Peter Grant, who became their manager (as he did later with Led Zeppelin), and Mickie Most, who became their agent.

Pete Watt

Music Historian

Eel Pie Island Museum


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