The Demons/Danny and The Demons
Original info courtesy Rolf Hannet and Bob Ainsworth

Line-up #1
Robert Ainsworth lead  - Solid Seven
Lawrence Jordon rhythm guitar

Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal

bass - Fender Precision
Dave Chalmers snare drum
Line-up #2
Robert Ainsworth lead
Lawrence Jordon guitar

Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal

Barry Whitwam drums
Line-up #2
Derek Leckenby lead
Lawrence Jordon guitar

Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal

Barry Whitwam drums
Line-up #3 as Danny and The Demons
Brian ? vocals
Derek Leckenby lead
Lawrence Jordon guitar

Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal

Barry Whitwam drums

Left to right Bob Ainsworth, Big Wal, Lawrence Jordan and at the front with drum, Barry Whitwam (afterwards with Herman's Hermits).

The Demons started out with Ian 'Wal' Waller on bass (Fender Precision), Bob Ainsworth on lead guitar (Rosetti Sold Seven, later a Hofner V3) (b. Robert Ainsworth), Stuart ' Big Mel' Mellor on rhythm guitar (b. Stuart Mellor) and Dave Chalmers on snare drum (b. David Chalmers). The snare drum was borrowed from a scout. 

Chalmers was the first to leave as his father would not let him have a drum kit, so he was replaced by drummer Barry Whitwam (b. Jan Barry Whitwam, Sunday, July 21, 1946, Hospital, White House, Prestbury Village, Cheshire, UK), who was a neighbour of Mellor. Whitwam's father agreed to be the guarantee on the Truvoice Echo Chamber the band acquired on HP. This was the competitor for the Watkins copycat that the group could not afford. 

When Mellor left he was replaced by rhythm guitarist Lawrence Jordan.  

When Ainsworth left he was replaced by lead guitarist Lek Leckenby (b. Derek Leckenby, Friday, May 14, 1943, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK d. Saturday, June 4, 1994, Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK, of non-Hodgkin lymphoma). 

The band was managed by Geoff Mullin (b. Geoffrey Mullin, 1945, Manchester, Lancashire, UK). They later added Brian X on lead vocals and changed their name to Danny and the Demons. Brian X was replaced by Malcolm Roberts (b. Malcolm James Roberts, Friday, March 31, 1944, Blackley, Manchester 9, Lancashire, UK d. Friday, February 7, 2003, Addlestone, near Chertsey, Surrey, UK, of a heart attack) and the group changed their name again to The Hellions (Dean West and The Hellions). Roberts became Dean West. 

Leckenby had been educated at William Hume's Grammar School in Spring Bridge Road, Whally Range, Manchester 16 and went on to do a degree course in civil engineering at Manchester University before leaving to become a professional musician. In 1961 the 18 year-old Lekenby made his first public performance at The Oasis Club at 45 - 47 Lloyd Street, Manchester. As for Whitwam, he had been to Beaver Road School, in Beaver Road, Didsbury, Manchester 20 and then gone to Ladybarn Secondary Modern School, at the junction of Parrs Wood Road & Briarfield Road in Withington, Manchester 20 and in 1959 at 13 he took up the drums. In 1960 at 14 he had made his first public performance at The Mouth Club in Manchester. 

John H.Warburg


For information, the bass guitar Wal is holding is one which he built based (no pun intended) on a Fender Precision. Lawrence's and mine are Rosetti Solid Sevens bought from Johnny Roadhouse's. I recall mine was about 15 guineas (!) I guess most of Manchester Beat fans will remember guineas -  just!

Bob Ainsworth

It's so long since I saw this picture that I have just noticed that I was wrong about my guitar. By this time my Solid Seven had been replaced (as anoraks will have spotted - no offence) by a Hofner V3 - one of the many Strat copies starting to appear at the time. 

Bob Ainsworth

Then Brian left and was replaced by Malcolm Roberts, resulting in the name change to The Hellions or Dean West and the Hellions.

The group (Wal, Lawrence, Barry and me) started life as The Demons of which I was lead guitarist. We played instrumentals by the Shadows mainly and the Fireballs and a few original compositions.

We took on a singer eventually whose name I forget (Brian?) but I remember he was good.

Unfortunately I spent three weeks in hospital and "Lek" was found to stand in for me. When I came out I was sacked because he was a better guitarist than I was!

Bob Ainsworth

Bob is forgetting that the ORIGINAL line up was Big Wal, bass; Bob Ainsworth, lead; Stuart (Big Mel) Mellor, rythym; and me, Dave Chalmers, on drum, a snare drum "borrowed" from a Scout ! My father wouldn't let me have a drum kit, thus Barry, a neighbour of Mels' was brought in.

I still remind Barry that he owes all his success to my Dad !!

Dave Chalmers

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Comments (4)

Topic: The Demons
Bob Ainsworth says...
Although I don't have a picture of it, when the Demons started we acquired on HP (with the kind guarantee if I recall from Barry Whitham's father!) a "Truvoice echo chamber" as it was advertised. Competitor for the Watkins copycat, ... Read More
17th May 2014 9:14pm
Brookes says...
The Brian ? refered to for Danny and the Demons 3- was Brian Smythe. Thanks
26th June 2015 1:10am
Brookes says...
Brian Smythe went on to become a printer in Gloucestershire but unfortunately died at the age of 45 from cancer. He had a wife who passed away in 2014 and two children Tracey who herself passed away in 2012 aged 46, and a baby who died in infancy ... Read More
26th June 2015 1:28am
Andy Millington says...
Great photo. Back when I was 13 and just starting to learn guitar I met Lawrence Jordan as a guitar teacher. Used to tell me a lot about the 60s bands. Great to see him on that photo.
A real character and a really nice bloke!
20th April 2016 12:56am

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