Frankenstein & the Monsters
aka Ray Stuart and The Tremors
Frankenstein & the Monsters played only 1 or 2 numbers the entire show - usually 'Great Balls of Fire' & 'Good Golly Miss Molly' or something similar. I was told that the Monsters without Frank or horror make up were actually The Sheffields, but I've never been able to confirm this, although I did see them both together on one show.
The lights go down and the thumping sound of the drums and guitars can be heard as the stage rotates at the Bolton Palais to reveal the musicians. Then just as suddenly screams are heard from the balcony from the girls as a dark figure staggers around pretending to try and capture one of these young females, into view comes Frankenstein a green spot light making this figure more frighttening to the naive youngsters, the show has started, fantastic!!
What music did they perform? Who cares it could have been maybe just two tracks but they knew how to make them last out and entertain us.
During 1965, Frankenstein & The Monsters consisted of the late Ray Stuart (Frankenstein) and The Sheffields (Roy Ledger, Dave Fawcett and Richard Smith)
At the end of 1965 however, The Sheffields went their own way before splitting ( lead guitarist Roy Ledger joined Dave Berry's Cruisers) and Ray Stuart approached Dave Robinson, Phil Galley and Spud West to form a 'new' Monsters - eventually acquiring the services of former Monster's bass player from the 1964/5 line up, Paul Jarvis.
This was the line up for the duration of 1966 with the band proving the most popular in their home city of Sheffield.
How do I know? I was lead guitarist in that line up before we became the fourth generation of Dave Berry's Cruisers.
Spud West played the part of The Mummy in the horror show and introduced the wonderful new trick of setting himself on fire as he left the coffin, until it got out of hand at Worsley Civic Hall when the fire hose had to be employed!
The band frequently appeared at The Oasis, Jung Frau, Top 20 Club at Droylsden as well as Bolton Palais and similar surrounding venues.
I recall they often did 2 spots in a gig, the other one as a conventional beat group "Ray Stuart (Stewart?) & The Floorboards". Sometimes the punters never realised it was the same mob, out of make-up. They did record one disc for EMI (as RS & F, the Sanford Clark song Go On Home (+ ??), but it was never released to my knowledge.
As Frankenstein he was very lavish with his fake blood distribution, & angered many a punter, pissed off at having his Toggery suit buggered, but if you saw the SIZE of the bloke, you'll realise why few took it any further....!!!
A real character (from Sheffield?) & sad to read that he's "late". Any info?
I vividly recall seeing the band perform at Club Creole, Wilmslow's only claim to a night spot, in the early 1960s.
To the accompaniment of eerie green lighting and some weird music, a huge Hammer Horror figure lumbered to the front of the tiny club stage, slowly raising above his head a fake heart which he proceeded to squeeze until the blood oozed! You knew it was an act but it was still mighty chilling. Then, to gasps from the packed crowd, the figure lurched forward and stepped into the audience.
Girls started to scream but he kept on coming, following a rapidly fleeing crowd of them across the dance-floor and into the ladies toilets! Quite what happened therein only they could say. Whatever it was, the show was great entertainment, even if its connection with music was slight and more or less irrelevant.
I must say I always thought the group was billed as 'Frank N Stein and the Monsters.' But maybe that was just my overworked imagination. Happy days!