Outrage
1965 - 1968
Thanks to Olaf Owre

Lineup  
   
Geoff Parkinson Bass guitar/vocals
Rod Gerrard Lead guitar/vocals
Valentine Weaver Hammond organ/vocals
Tom Dewhurst Drums

FORMATION

Outrage were formed in 1965 when Geoff Parkinson from Little Hulton, near Bolton, and Rod Gerrard from Broughton, Manchester, joined up with two guys from Farnworth - Valentine Weaver on hammond organ and Tom Dewhurst on drums.

Rod Gerrard was the group's frontman on lead guitar/vocals and had previously played with a Salford band called Hell's Angels.

Geoff Parkinson was on bass/vocals and had a past in Kathy & The Boleros and The Gonks.


Outrage at Ashton Palais 1966
(picture courtesy: Geoff Parkinson)

   

MAN WITH MONEY

Outrage were managed by a very perceptive man called Don Read from the Beachcomber Club on Bank Street, Bolton, who according to local newspaper clippings from 1966, had signed up the group on a five-year contract worth £ 20,000. Read also managed The Dawnbreakers, The Warriors (featuring future Yes lead singer Jon Anderson), Wynder K. Frog (who evolved into Joe Cocker's Grease Band), Family, who had many UK hits in the early 1970s, and The John Evans Smash, one of many bands with links to Jethro Tull. See also The Toggery Five.

At Don Read's Beachcomber Club Outrage saw bands such as The Action and David John & The Mood in concert, and they drew a lot of inspiration from them. Outrage developed a style which was pretty close to early Who, The Creation, The Action and The Small Faces rolled into one so to speak. A brash and shattering mod sound.

OUTRAGE ON STAGE

Outrage played many Manchester venues but according to Geoff Parkinson seemed to be more popular in "hipper" areas in the North East such as Newcastle, Roker, Gateshead etc., along with Liverpool, Stoke, Derbyshire and the South Coast.

Notably the group played Liverpool's famous Cavern club on Friday 29th. March 1966, supporting The She Trinity on 13th. August 1966, supporting The Hideaways on 8th. September 1966, and supported by the The Hideaways on 15th. September 1966. Bassist Parkinson also remembers playing one more afternoon and evening session there on another occasion, but doesn't have the exact date for this. In 1966 the group won the first prize of £ 50 in the finals of the "Group Of The Year" contest held at the Mecca Palais, Ashton-under-Lyne, where Bo Kelly's Legends from Ashton came second, The National Grid from Oldham third, and The Heartbeats from Stalybridge won the fourth prize.

Outrage at Nottingham University 1966
(picture courtesy: Geoff Parkinson)
   


(poster courtesy: Geoff Parkinson)

The original Outrage concert posters from 1966 were among the first Dayglo prints. The poster artwork was highly original and seems way ahead of its time.

It was designed by a guy called Michael Chapman, who was then an art teacher at Bolton Art College. He later made a name for himself as a singer/songwriter in his own right, when he signed with EMI's new Harvest label in 1969, and a series of Michael Chapman solo albums followed during the 70s and 80's.

 

FOWLEY TAPES

Outrage recorded for the Warner Bros. label at CBS Studios in London, which were then at Old Bond Street.

In the spring of 1966 they cut four tracks with American producer Kim Fowley behind the controls. Fowley had arrived in England with singer P. J. Proby in 1965, and wrote and produced a couple of singles for The Belfast Gypsies in 1966.

He became somewhat of a legend in the Southern California area for his poetry and songs during the drug music scene of the late 60s.

 

Outrage recorded four songs with Fowley for a possible debut single. The recordings included a cover of The Everly Brothers' "Man With Money" and a Fowley written number with the somewhat stupid title of "You Have A Different Way Of Eating Chocolate Cake". They also cut a version of the Pete Townshend written "Circles", a Who-original also covered by The Fleur De Lys at the time, with Jimmy Page on guitar. A possible signature number for the group titled "Outrage", written by their manager Don Read, was also captured on tape during the sessions. The song tells the story of the scandal which goes around when a white boy goes out with a coloured girl - a quite dangerous subject at the time.

Despite Don Read's assertions that two or three major record companies were interested in releasing the group on record, sadly none of the Outrage recordings ever saw the light of day in 1966 and remain unissued to this day. The group continued doing concerts a couple more years, but suffered a big set-back in August 1967, when their van skidded, hit a lamp post and overturned in Beaumont Road, Bolton. They had just been to see Pink Floyd (original line-up with Syd Barrett) at Rivington Barn, Bolton when the accident happened. According to Manchester Evening News' August 19th. 1967 edition Val Weaver had back and rib injuries, Tom Dewhurst leg and facial injuries and Geoff Parkinson general abrasions. The group's van was a write-off.

POST-OUTRAGE

After the group disbanded in 1968 drummer Tom Dewhurst took up studies at The London School Of Arts, while organist Valentine Weaver moved down south after his father had passed away. Geoff Parkinson had a few lean years as far as music was concerned, but returned to the music scene in the 70s. Here is his own summary of the post-Outrage years:

GP :" I married and forgot about bands for a while, but in the 70s I had a group called Nail-Em-Down, who did Stealers Wheel type stuff, and used an impressive range of instruments including mellotron, Pearl River harmonium, accordion, Clavinet D6 and Logan string synth. My wife bluffed her way through on these, and the rest of us, with regular member changes, played Ricky bass, Ricky 12 string, Gold top Les Paul, banjo, mandolin, Tokia electric autoharp, Dulcimer, Timbales etc. It was a good band, but unfortunately ahead of its time, as The Stranglers were dominant and punk was in its birth pangs."

Nail-Em-Down split and Parkinson started doing P.A hire with bands such as The Flying Pickets, George Melly, Drifters, Icicle Works, Gbh, Antipasti, The Exploited, Richard and Linda Thompson and many more, including The Salfords Jets featuring former Outrage band mate Rod Gerrard!

In the 80's Parkinson moved on to a band called Reckless Hearts who were loosely based on Rockpile. They had a 4-piece line-up augmented occasionally by a pianist. Parkinson also recalls with fondness that Derek Leckenby, lead guitarist of Herman's Hermits, once stood in with his band at a local gig in Manchester.

GP: "Leckenby stood in with The Reckless Hearts for a Sun rockabilly medley and then stayed up for the whole set! I only knew him for a short while, but liked him very much."

When Reckless Hearts "#1" ended, Parkinson formed a new, electro acoustic version of the band, now loosely based on Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance. This lasted until the late 90's.

GP: "By the end of the 90's I had realised that live music in this country had run its creative course, and as I have never played chart covers I decided to call it a day."

However, since 2003 Parkinson has been busy building a computer based recording studio in his home, and the project is nearing completion.

GP: "When I have enough material recorded I have planned a Reckless Hearts website and will possibly sell CDs through the internet. The music will be very much along the lines of Ronnie Lane and McGuinness Flint with dobro, mandolin, accordian, sitar, guitar, harmonium, electric autoharp and baritone guitar featured very heavily."

Going back in time again ex-Outrage guitarist Rod Gerrard joined Sunshine in 1969-70. The late 70s saw him join new wave/punk band, The Salford Jets, who recorded several singles for WEA, EMI, RCA, Polydor and some independent labels between 1978 and 1983. Gerrard also played with later incarnations of Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders and Herman's Hermits during the 80's and 90's.

He left Manchester and moved to Florida, USA in 1995, where he started working occasionally with local musicians, in addition to writing songs. Following a move up north to Minnesota for a couple of years, Gerrard is now residing in Denver, Colorado. 2003 saw him join an all-star band called The Retro Rockets, featuring Joey Molland of Badfinger, members of Loggins & Messina and others.


       
Kathy & The Boleros (1962-64)      
The Gonks (1964-65) Hell's Angels (1964-65)    
   
Geoff Parkinson Rod Gerrard Valentine Weaver Tom Dewhurst
bass guitar/vocals lead guitar/vocals hammond organ/vocals drums
Nail-Em-Down (70s)

Sunshine (1969-70)

quit and moved down south London School Of Arts
PA hire business (80s) Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders (70s)    
Reckless Hearts (#1/80s) Salford Jets (1978-83)    
Reckless Hearts (#2/90s) Mike Sweeney & The Thunderbyrds (80's)    
Home recording studio
Herman's Hermits (1989-95)    
(2003-to present) moved to USA, songwriter    
  Memphis (Minnesota based band) (1999-00)    
  Retro Rockets (2003-to present)    
       
       

Discography:  

UNRELEASED TRACKS:

Unissued: "Man With Money" (Don Everly-Phil Everly)

Unissued: "You Have A Different Way Of Eating Chocolate Cake" (Fowley)

Unissued: "Circles" (Pete Townshend)

Unissued: "Outrage" (Don Read)

All produced by Kim Fowley at CBS Studios, Old Bond Street, London in the spring of 1966.

Some of Fowley's assorted production works from 1962 to 1977 were released on a CD titled "Outlaw Superman" on US Bacchus Archives (BA0113) in 1999. Hopefully the Outrage tracks can be dug out from CBS' studio vaults or Fowley's own archives someday and be released on a similar CD project.

Outrage related links:

Salford Jets official website: www.salfordjets.com

Retro Rockets website: www.humboldt1.com/~syamjonimi/RRpromohome.html 

A million thanks to Geoff Parkinson for providing most of the Outrage info as well as the photos for this article. Thanks also to Rod Gerrard, Geoff Kerry and Diccon Hubbard for information about the Salford Jets over the years.

Compiled by Olaf Owre, 2004


 




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