The Yew Tree Wythenshawe (resident group for approx year)
Southern Theatre Club
Mr Smiths M/c
Domino Club M/c
We appeared on 'Scene at 6.30' twice, the first time singing our own song 'Appetite for Love', the second time a jazzed up version of 'Georgia on my mind'
One of the songs in the act - we took off a old record player with the song slowing down, speeding up, the record sticking, can't remember what song we did it to.
John Alty, the drummer, is now in Australia and is a well known Australian artist now. He did play drums with the Emu Strutters Jazz Band in 1972-75 and was a sessional drummer for a while with various. He then took up painting as a career and has been painting ever since.
I went to school (Chorlton Grammar) with John Alty. We joined 184 squadron ATC which had the benefit (from my point of view) of being a female-free zone which allowed me to talk to John without having to fight my way through the hordes of drooling women (Ok, girls) that perpetually surrounded him. This was where he started drumming.
As with women, one (drum) wasn't enough and his ever-indulgent mum was prevailed upon to make up the short-fall. I'm not certain how he met up with the rest of the band but was delighted to worm my way in as unpaid "roadie".
At this time they were known as Roy and the Restless Four, a name that even after 45 years causes my toes to curl. On one memorable occasion a promoter advertised them as Roy and the Wrestlers Four which probably amused me more than them.
They supported Brian Poole and the Tremeloes at (I think) Morecambe and went down better.
A large (in every sense of the word) part of their success was due to Gordon the driver who had no concept of the potential disasters inherent in driving a knackered Bedford 15cwt van over-loaded to the point that the front wheels were rarely in contact with the road.
I've got a couple of photos somewhere and even a copy of "Baby How", Roy's magnum opus.
Keith Macaulay Fraser
At a time when you were quite posh if your dad owned a car, Roy had a fairly new Mini (well it would be, the Mini had only been in production for 4 years).
It was white and had been fitted with the obligatory Peco big-bore exhaust, this in conjunction with the fact that he would NEVER change from third to top until the valves were about to rip through the bonnet meant that you knew he was on his way 20 minutes before he arrived.
He bore quite a strong physical resemblance to Peter Asher (of Peter and Gordon) and emphasised this in his choice and style of songs (it didn't do him a lot of harm in the back of his mini either).This gave John the opportunity to take lead vocals on the more enthusiastic numbers. Among these were "I go ape","Nadine","Long distance information"and "No particular place to go" He also did another one the lyrics of which barely gave him the chance to breathe but I'm buggered if I can remember what it was.
STOP PRESS...it was "Too much monkey business"
Kelloggs (where John worked in the advertising dept) were running a TV ad for Rice Krispies. This (complete with an eeNORmous display box of Rice Krispies) was soon incorporated into the act. The ad was a driving Rolling Stones-esque riff over which was laid a raw lyric in which the standard "Woke up this morning" line was changed to "Wake up every morning" then went on to extoll the virtues of a life enhanced by little bubbles of cereal. A couple of wigs and a pair of maraccas was all it took to effect the transformation. John adopted the "Mekon" lip-line and praying mantis stick style of Charlie Watts, Bren out-simpered Brian Jones, Adge smoked, prowled and chopped-out Keith Richards' riffs backed up by Lee's pounding bass while Roy pranced and minced about with a pout that would be envied by Angelina Jolie (or maybe a sink-plunger).
As they say, you really had to be there. I'm delighted that I was.
Keith Macaulay Fraser
I sure do remember playing with the guys as I was the baby of the band and was invited to join by Roy when I was a 16 and a half yr. old schoolboy, fresh out of Chorlton Grammar where Keith Mac Fraser was one of my best mates at the time.
There are several important gigs we did ,apart from the Princess Club, Chorlton where we learned our trade under Bobby Campbell the compere. We played Bellevue Showgrounds with Unit 4+2 (their big hit at the time was"Concrete & Clay) headlining the show. Very exciting as it had a circular stage, and as one band was playing before the huge roaring crowd another was setting up back stage to come on next. I remember doing the tom tom intro to "Mickeys Monkey"as we swung into the lights and Adge, our lead guitar at the time, turning to me with a very shocked expression, pointing to a dart,thrown from the crowd, that had stuck in his beloved Gretsch guitar. We were also dodging pennies in the lights. Hermans Hermits were next on after us. This is before they went huge in America.
We also played the Blackpool Tower Ballroom with "The Wheels". Southern Sporting Club, with Peter & Gordon, Dusty Springfield, to name drop just a few.
I am Brendan's sister and having recently come across this site I thought the rest of the group may wish to have an update on Brendan. He went to live in Perth, Western Australia in 1982 and stayed there until he died of a brain haemorrhage on 3rd March 2007. He was cremated there and we gave him a good Aussie farewell with his many friends.
I brought his ashes back to Manchester and on the 11th May 2007 we had a 'Celebration of Brendan's Life' at St. Kentigern's RC Church in Fallowfield. His ashes were then buried with our parents in Southern Cemetery and then family and friends retired to The Irish Association, High lane, Chorlton to share our memories of him---it was a great gathering of his famiy and friends.
One of his most treasured possessions was his 'Hagstrom' guitar which he bought about 1961/2---he played it regularly all his life and it is now with me. I hope all the rest of you are in good health.
Rosaleen D Walsh
15 October 2012
Hey Roy, I still remember seeing you on Scene at Six Thirty all those years ago although I was only a small kid at the time. It was a big deal at our house as my Dad was your roadie, Gordon Feetham. Used to run you about in his obligatory Bedford Workabus. For many years he kept a white label 7" you recorded (think it was called "Ain't that a Shame" if I recall).
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hello there, cannot believe i found you on the web, my uncle Liam was the bassist in the group, he is still alive and kicking, coming up to 78 years old bless him, he still strums away in between his painting sessions, he still has photos on a board ... Read More
hello there, cannot believe i found you on the web, my uncle Liam was the bassist in the group, he is still alive and kicking, coming up to 78 years old bless him, he still strums away in between his painting sessions, he still has photos on a board in spare room. he will be chuffed iv'e made contact with you. thank you... Larry