Johnny Peters
Johnny Peters and the Jets
Johnny Peters and the Crestas
Johnny Peters and the JPs
The Johnny Peters Set


Johnny Peters and the Jets

Line - Up
Johnny Peters
Derek Quinn
Pete Bocking
John (Butch) Mepham
Joe Abrams (Abrahams)

John (Butch) Mepham writes:

"While playing skiffle I had met Derek Quinn (later lead guitar with Freddie and the Dreamers) who also played with a skiffle group, one evening when I bumped into him on our way home from work, he asked if I was interested in forming a rock & roll group (as far as I know, there wasn't any rock bands in Manchester at that time).

Derek, Pete Bocking, Joe Abrams (or Abrahams ?) and myself formed THE JETS fronted by a young lad called Johnny Peters (Barry James) - a sort of cross between Elvis Pressley and Cliff Richard.

Johnny Peters was a great front man, a good voice, personality, and a great stage presence, he got the girls screaming everywhere we played.

Derek and Pete were sort of joint lead guitar players to start off, but as Pete was the better player he eventually took over lead, myself playing bass guitar (you couldn't buy bass guitars in those days, so I used my Hofner President.

Johnny Peters and The Jets were a very successful band. The Jets lingered on for a number of years with different front men (the last being Wayne Fontana).

We played clubs and dance halls in and around Manchester, we even did a few gigs in London .

Pete and Joe left the group around late 1959 ( my brain is getting too old to remember dates ! ) to form a new group, fronted by the Two Teens (Alan Clark and Graham Nash) called the FOURTONES.


Johnny Peters and the Jets formed with Peters on lead vocals (b. Barry James), Pete Bocking on lead guitar (b. Peter Bocking, Monday, November 2, 1942, Withington, Manchester 20, Lancashire, UK d. Saturday, October 31, 2009, Milnrow, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, UK), John 'Butch' Mepham on bass (Hofner President) (b. Sunday, July 27, 1941, Manchester, Lancashire, UK), Derek Quinn on lead guitar (b. May 24, 1942, Manchester, Lancashire, UK), Joe Abraham on drums (b. Joseph Abraham). 

In July 1958 Mepham had been brought an acoustic guitar by his mum for his 17th birthday and then joined his first band The Sidekicks Skiffle Group for about five months. When they broke up, he formed his own band The Meteors with Mepham on vocals, acoustic guitar, George Owen on guitar, Tom Mangen on tea-chest bass and Brian Lowe on snare drums. This group split in Late 1959 according to Mepham, as the bands parents kept on telling them to be home early. 

While playing in his own group Mepham had met Derek Quinn who was also playing in a skiffle group 

Johnny Peters and the Jets split in Late 1959 and Bocking and Abraham joined forces with Two Teens, duo, Ricky Young (Allan Clarke) (b. Harold Allan Clarke, Sunday, April 5, 1942, Salford, Lancashire, UK) and Dane Young (Graham Nash) (b. Graham William Nash, Monday, February 2, 1942, Blackpool, Lancashire, UK) to front a new group The Fourtones (Ricky and Dane Young and the Fabulous Fourtones) in Early 1960. 

As for Quinn he joined a group called The Kingfishers with a line-up of Freddie Garrity on lead vocals (b. Frederick Garrity Jnr, Saturday, November 14, 1936, 123 Crescent Road, Crumpsell, Manchester, Lancashire, UK d. Friday, May 19, 2006, Gwynedd Hospital, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales) (ex-The Red Sox from 1957, The John Norman Four), Quinn on bass, Ernie Molloy on lead guitar (b. Ernest Molloy, Manchester, Lancashire, UK), Roy Crewsdon on rhythm guitar (b. Thursday, May 29, 1941, Manchester, Lancashire, UK) and Bernie Dwyer on drums (b. Bernard Dwyer, Wednesday, September 11, 1940, Manchester, Lancashire, UK d. Wednesday, December 4, 2002, Cheadle, Cheshire, UK). When Garrity had joined this group he had sold his amplifier to Crewsdon. When Molloy left to be a milkman, Quinn became the lead guitarist, harmonica player and the band was joined by bassist Pete Birrell (b. Peter Birrell, Friday, May 9, 1941, Manchester, Lancashire, UK). In Late 1959 The Kingfishers changed their name to The Dreamers Rhythm Group that in October 1961 became Freddie and the Dreamers.  

John H. Warburg


Johnny Peters and the Crestas

Line-up included:

Johnny Peters - Vocals
Alan Lawson - Bass
Albie Sayers - Bass
Harry Frost - Lead guitar
Ray Arnfield - Rhythm guitar
Paul Ashworth - Drums
Bernie Byrnes - Drums
Ces Mosley - Lead guitar


The photo of Johnny Peters and the Crestas (on stage) is L to R : Albie Sayers 'Bass' fron New Mills - Drums ? not sure! we had a guy called Eddie "never ready" from Marple, but I think it may have been Burnie Burns from Prestwich - Johnny Peters himself from Benchill - Ray Arnfield 'Rhythm' from New Mills -and Ces Mosley 'Lead' from Smithy Green nr Cheadle Hulme. I have said where they lived as I had the job of picking them up and taking them home! Plus their girlfriends!! The stage they are on I think was The Kings Hall Cheadle Hulme as I think I was there when it was taken. They had just got those Suits!!

Ian McNab (roadie)

I can confirm to Ian Mcnab that it is indeed me Bernie Byrnes on drums at the Kings Hall Cheadle Hulme - circa April/May '62. Johnny's suit was gold lame` ours were pink lame`!! Arrrrgh!

Bernie Byrnes


Johnny Peters and the JPs  

Johnny then set up a new group "Johnny Peters and the JP'S" but although there was no shortage of bookings, record success eluded them.

Johnny went down to London where he did various recording sessions including one with a 25 piece orchestra for volatile "Rolling Stones" producer Andrew Oldham.

He recorded a Buddy Holly song "When you ask about love" but it had little promotion or airplay.

Radio Caroline and Luxemburg played it but the record didn't take off.


The photo of Johnny Peters & The J.P.s (above) shows one of the earliest line-ups, from left to right, Johnny, Skins Lucas (drums), Stuart Syrett (bass guitar) and Les Hylton (lead).  I remember seeing them at Brinnington Youth Club in 1963 and they were pretty good too!  I was with other members of Bobby Laine & The Confederates when we popped into the Club to confirm arrangements for a future gig and we stayed for their show.

After two years, and a number of personnel changes, the group became Johnny, Phil Keen (drums), John Murphy (lead) and myself on bass.  For some time the great Bernie Byrnes filled in one drums and eventually Bernie and Stuart formed Wayne Fontana's post-Mindbenders group, The Opposition. 

Alan D. Jackson

The Johnny Peters Set

Line - Up
Johnny Peters
Johnny Murphy
Colin Turner
Steve Baylis

I was working at Withington hospital in Manchester and it was 1966.  I was a messenger boy delivering the mail and telegrams to all the departments throughout the hospital.  I was in our little post room one afternoon and a telephone call came through from the lodge at the main entrance to the hospital.  I had to get there immediately as there were some gentlemen to see me!  It was about a ten minute walk and when I got there the Lodge Keeper informed me that these three gentlemen wish to speak to you. (that rings a bell!) 

In those days you didn't think to yourself oh --- it was oh crumbs!  They asked me "are you Steve Baylis?"  Yes I said.  Well we've just been speaking to yer mam at the Shakespeare and she told us you were a drummer!(some may doubt that fact)  (The Shakespeare pub in Fountain Street in Manchester had a restaurant upstairs and mum was a waitress there). 

I was 16 and "The Gentlemen" were Johnny Peters, Johnny Murphy and Colin Turner.  Hardly gentlemen but that's another story. 

Johnny Peters was that famous all singin all dancin all everythin elsein front man.  I'd never heard of him. 

Johnny Murphy was the guitar player and Colin Turner was the bass player, both excellent. 

Have you got a passport they asked? no, was my reply.  "Well you better get one cos your joinin us" and in two weeks were going to France.  I wasn't quick enough in those day's to comment "ooh la la".  I somehow got the passport sorted and commenced as they say rehearsals upstairs at the Navigation Inn, Stockport.  I had replaced Phil Keen who had been a very popular chap, especially so with I am informed, the birds. 

About halfway through rehearsals Johnny Murphy pulled JP to one side and whispered "this lad's a nice fella but he's a crap drummer"  At 16 one has hearing like the proverbial hawk!  I just carried on looking innocent and JP replied "look, Phil's courtin, Bernie's workin and this lad's the only one available so let's gerron with it!" 

Off to France we went and really that was the start of the rest of my life! 

I have not seen JP, JM or CT to this day.  But wherever they are I wish them good health, good luck and happiness.

Steve Bayliss




Once upon a time long ago a very nice guy by the name of Albert Sayers was visiting relatives up in the County Durham area when he started having a problem with his car. 'Oh Heck' he cried! How am I going to get back to Manchester for tomorrow nights Gig.

Ah! I'll phone our faithful roadie Ian and ask him to come up here and tow me back!! True to form! Ian did as he asked. The Tow rope was very short and by the time they were reaching the Leeds area it was going dark. Albert's lights were working well and shining full beam into Ian's eyes. Still to cut a long drive/story short they reached New Mills in good time for the Gig.

The Moral to this story is: DON'T KNOCK THE POOR OLD ROADIES!

Ian McNab

I was introduced to Johnny Peters and the Crestas through my cousin John Eaton, who then owned The Kings Hall Ballroom in Cheadle Hulme.

I had bought an Austin Omnicoach and he asked me if I would run the group. I picked them up in New Mills and took them to Tideswell. The bug had bit and I was with them for a long time. John Eaton then sold them their own van and I then took over The Fourtones until we had a smash up in town. Alan and Graham very temporarily became Ricky & Dane Young and I took them to a gig at the Empress in Stockport with Alfred Marks top of the bill. They could not complete their booking because of amp problems! Would you believe it! just weeks later The Hollies were born.

Ian McNab

Albie (Albert) 'to me' Sayers. I remember him well. All smokers who knew him never got their fags out when he was around!! The first thing he ever said when he met you was " ave you got a fag mate!" I remember the rest of the Crestas trying to drum into him how to get his chords right at the Kings Hall and the upward puff he gave to blow his black quiff from his eyes. But what a great guy!!

I would never have known him from the picture on the Pete Bocking Six reunion page, but then I don't think he would know me either!

Ian McNab

Johnny Peters,Terry Morton & Vic Farrell  2009

I wonder if Ian remembers visiting the "Hogey bar" in Warrington after a gig in the locality? The Hogey bar was a trailer on a bomb site in the centre of Warrington that sold hot dogs about a foot long.

On the occasion I refer to, our manager John Eaton had come along for the ride and after the gig we had gone to the Hogey bar for some grub.

We all got into the back of Ian's nice clean Morris J4 bus and started munching. Ian must have hit a bump because I spilt some red hot coffee on John, he started laughing, Ces Moseley in mid sup started laughing spurting coffee over everyone, then hot dogs started to get thrown around. Result, total chaos and one very messy bus. Sorry Ian.

Ian was a great roady and I'm glad to hear he's still around and taking an interest in your excellent website.

Bernie Byrnes

My brother is 'Johnny Peters' and he was a great influence on me.  I followed his footsteps in singing, the I could never boast of a great a following as my brother!

My band was called 'The Living Dream', I was half asleep then as I am now, but adored singing!!!

I am a volunteer now, and have been for eleven years with Cancer Aid & Listening Line.  The patients and myself wrote a song called Shine. It is on this website , and we do hope you will have some time to listen to it.

Thanks for the opportunity to write to you.  Happy New Year, 

Sue James

For a short period in 1964 Johnny Peter's line-up was 'Skins' Lucas (Ex Mindbenders) on drums, and Pete Harris on lead. Bass players name unknown.

Pete Harris




30 Jan 1965

May 30th 1963


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