Kirk St James and Wild Silk
info courtesy David Bowker

Line Up
Kirk St James Vocals
David Bowker Bass and sax
Ray Gibson Drums
Leslie Crompton Lead guitar
Peter Marsh Organ

CLICK HERE for an early version of Wild Silk

The band - Club Rasputine Beirut Lebanon Dec 1968

Kirk St James


Pictured left to right: Gibson, Bowker, Marsh, Crompton


I just found out Kirk was in the movie King Ralph. (John Goodman/Peter O'Toole) 1991. Played a sax player .

He was also in a band  Bakerloo after Clem Clempson left , they changed their name to Hannibal, made an album and also played a lot in Germany.

An ex -band member  writing about this on Yahoo says he is trying to track TV /concert footage. Don't know  when all this went down - before or after I knew him.

He won 'New Faces' in about 78',   that's the last time I saw him - on Oxford St in London.

David Bowker

The Beirut adventure  

Why did I leave the Richard Kent Style (a well known band), a beautiful girlfriend and head out to Beirut with a bunch of under-rehearsed misfits? Because I was dumb, that's why!

I guess there WAS a little more to it . I was fed up with the cabaret and more cabaret, chicken-in a basket scene that the o'l Kent Style were doing and needed to just do ANYTHING.

I had known Kirk for some time and kind of knew that it would all end in disaster. Nevertheless, I went ahead into one of the most amazing adventures of my life, some of it good, most of it really bad.

After a little rehearsal the "band" got into pretty good shape, we started well, morale was high and there were quite a few girls. But a 3 month trip turned into a 6 month nightmare.

The Israelis decided to lay a commando raid on the airport , and blew up 6 Middle East Airline jets. Things started to deteriorate somewhat after that, especially the money . On our arrival we naively surrendered our passports and it was decided that our option of going home after 3 months was not an option after all, so it turned into a mandatory 6 month gig! We were trapped!

Eventually we left literally with our tails between our legs via a 3 day hellish layover in Sofia Bulgaria before we were able to board our twin-prop Bulgarian Airlines flight back to London.

Meanwhile I had been ripped off by Kirk, ripped off by the agent, ripped off by the club owner of Barbarellas, where we played as an organ trio and been arrested at gunpoint by the police, and jailed overnight in a Beirut Jail with organist Pete Marsh. A little visa expiration "problem" seemed to be the trouble!

The Lebanese police were out looking for Israeli "spies " after their beloved airport had been violated and we seemed to be the closest thing, as we were pulled from our cab on our way back to our apartment after the gig early one morning and ushered into a jeep with machine guns trained on us.

Naturally , the "fine " to get us out of jail was deducted from our pay by the clubowner! Aaahh the memories! One day I hope to tell the 'Rat -in- the-oven' story.


Club Rasputine .Beirut, Lebanon Oct 68

Christine Delap - club owner

''Penny Blue" (go-go chick -cum stripper) on a quiet night
at club Rasputine, Beirut1968

Penny Blue and Lady H



While we were in Beirut, we had a bust-up with Kirk, so Pete Marsh and I formed an organ Trio - Brian Auger style - called Love Machine. 

We went to play at a rival club, Barbarellas with a local student  Iranian guy Abi , on drums - he was very good.

We packed em' in.

I seem to recall the bust up was about money!

Kirk was charging the band for "P.A Rental". Hmmmm.


These Pictures taken 1968 at Club Rasputin Beirut Lebanon.

Above left: Me, sweating in a silk shirt onstage.

Back of snapshot says we are playing 'Im A Man' (Spencer Davis /Winwood ) Oct68.

Above right: Dated Oct 68 giving Ray's Kit a drink!

Left: With Pete Marsh Organist - it says after rehearsal Oct 68 on back of snapshot .   


When I left Kirk, with Pete Marsh (organ) to play Barbarellas, they got the DJ at the club to play bass. It's Tony Coe .He was a roadie with Geno Washington , and a London club DJ.

In the pic opn the left he is using my crap bass amp. The new club gave me a Fender bassman!

We are best of mates still today. We email each other every week - that's a 40 year friendship!


February 1969
The flight layover from hell - Sofia, Bulgaria

Still In Sofia Bulgaria Feb 1969 .
Kirk St James, guitarist Les Crompton and drummer Ray Gibson.

1970 Kirk St James single


Kirk moved up from Birmingham to Rochdale after he appeared on Your a Star along with three female backing singers / dancers and a very talented little known to us guitarist who went by the name of Richard "Dick " Tandy.

They teamed up with the members of the Pennine Five which included myself, plus Doug Whalley on trumpet who along with Gordon Stuart formed the front line.  After rehearsing for several weeks at the school in Whitworth we reached a stage where we were ready for our opening gig.  Sadly there was a rift between the two agents who could not agree on the venue and fee and as we had to work to survive we broke away to reform with Tony "Faz " Fallows on Rhytham and Vocals, Gordon Stuart on Tenor Sax Richard Tandy on Bass and myself on Drums / Vocals.

We worked the Yorkshire scene semi pro for about twelve months during which time Kirk returned to Birmingham. Richard Tandy continued to work with the group whilst working as a salesman at Baker Motors on Oldham Road Rochdale until we disbanded and Richard returned to the Midlands to join the E.L.O. on keyboards.

Ken " Kacy " Charlesworth

During the late 70's-mid 80's I was the bass guitarist of Coventry based band 'Paris' (Tim Constable - keyboards, Steve Roberts - guitar, Ted Duggan - Drums, & Pat Millar - vocals. We entered a competition at Warwick University, and was eventually discovered/'found' by Kirk, who had formed his own management company, '80's promotions.

We signed a 5 year management deal with Kirk, and at that time he was living in Roehampton, London. After working with Kirk for a year or two, things didn't work out. We had recorded (independantly) a Christmas song, which Kirk hated, and we eventually parted company.

Last thing I heard of him he was working as a driving instructor in London.

Fran Pettifer

I met up with Kirk about 3 years ago living in Buxton with family. His son was tragically killed in a road  accident.

Les Crompton



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