Seduction

Line-up
   
Mike Lynch ex Blind Dog Blues Band vocals/harmonica
Ady Edelston ex Frank Yonko's Everglades lead/rhythm guitar
Dave (Tep) Gleave ex National Grid bass guitar/vocals
John Needham ex National Grid drums/vocals

This four piece outfit was formed when Ady Edelston returned from a tour of Germany with Frank Yonco.

He rang Mike Lynch and told Mike about the scene in Germany and in particular the good money to be earned working the American military bases over there.

Mike had recently finished working with Blind Dog Blues Band and got together with Ady to find some more musicians to form a new band. After lots of auditions they found two excellent players who were willing to sell their souls and journey to foreign lands.

They decided to play some British gigs to begin with in order to knock the band into shape. Originally going under the name The Mike Leslie Four they played many of the regular venues for Manchester bands, picking up where The Blind Dog band had left off.

In order to get work in Germany they had to do the obligatory audition, this was held at the Peacock Club in London and from around 30 or so bands auditioning they were 1 of only four groups to get a contract. This was with the SCHNIEDER AGENCY who were based in Munich. The agent stipulated a change of name and Seduction was chosen.

On stage at the Catacombes Club in Bad Krueznach, Germany.1968

Left to right, Ady Edelston, John Needham, Mike Lynch, Dave Gleave.


 

The musical style was fairly eclectic, ranging from R&B through British pop, soul, some jazz standards and a smattering of original material. The group had a couple of months to kill before departing to Germany, so continued to gig creating a tight knit four piece ready to for the journey.

The two years the band spent working in Germany is a book in its own right as the lads will testify. However in the main it was hard work - six nights per week doing sometimes 4 x 1 hour sets and an additional late afternoon spot on Saturdays. Sunday was a day off.

The band worked most of the major bases both army and airforce inc Darmstat, Bad Kreuznach, Manhiem, Vockenrot and many more. Due to the fact that many German civilians attended the clubs at weekends we started to get gigs in German clubs on our days off and holidays

After two years though, we were knackered and returned to the UK to look to the future.

Ady Edelston decided he was taking some time out so Mike Lynch, Dave Gleave and John Needham decided to form a new band - which resulted in the group Money.


Seduction was mine and Dave's first pro band and, it's fair to say,  we had no idea what we were letting ourselves in for. Neither of us had ever left the country before much less gone charging off through Europe in an old Bedford van with a dodgy gearbox. You know the old saying "anything that can go wrong will go wrong " well, it did. Having arrived in Belgium and just outside Bruge the gearbox packed up altogether. It was about six o'clock in the morning, foggy, raining and bloody cold. So this is what Belgium is like in Febuary. At this point we only had about nine hours left to get to Mannheim in Germany.

By pure chance we'd broken down only about two hundred yards from a garage. As soon as the place opened, by then it was about seven thirty, Mike and I tried to explain to the two mechanics what the problem was. They eventually understood that we needed a new gearbox. Both guys then disappeared into the back of the garage and, to our amazement, came back holding a gearbox which they managed to fit into the Bedford in about an hour. With the van fixed, off we went.

On arrival at Funari Barracks in Manheim, surprisingly only about an hour late, I stopped at the main gate. Mike slid open the door as an MP approached the van. The door promptly came off its runner and fell to the ground right on the MP's highly polished boots. He was definately not impressed. So, that was two disasters and we hadn't yet completed a full day.

The first month passed fairly quickly although, I must admit, at first playing five forty five minute sets six nights per week was difficult. During these early weeks Ady Edelston's experience and Mike Lynch's calm leadership of the group was invaluable.

We moved on from Mannheim to play two or three more bases before eventually arriving at Fulda. This place was a real eye opener. For a start we were booked in to stay in a hotel called The Silver Moon. It became very obvious real quick that this was the local ' knocking shop '. The goings on in this gaff would have made a great script for a triple X rated movie, in fact, I'm pretty sure some were made there. I could go into more detail but I doubt it would pass  the censors red pen.

At this point I should perhaps explain, for the benefit of those who don't know, how the clubs on American bases were set up. On the majority of Army and Air Force bases there were three clubs, one EM club for enlisted men, one for NCOs and one solely for officers. The officers clubs were mostly like night clubs, whereas the EM and NCO clubs were far more basic. A bit like working mens clubs I suppose.

It was here whilst we were working the EM club at Fulda that I first saw evidence of overt racism. These were the days of the Black Panthers and Malcolm X on the one hand and the 'good old boys' of the KKK on the other, not to mention the Vietnam war was at its height and most of the guys at Fulda would end up there.  Ady Edelston had warned us that the race issue could be a problem from his experiences playing the bases with Frank Yonko. It appeared as though some of the southern white guys had swapped their white robes and pointy hats for army fatigues but forgotten to alter their mentallity. A similar thing could be said for the black power types on the other side. The place was a potential powder keg.

One night at the club, following an incident on the base in which a young black guy was stabbed by two white guys, apparently for just talking to a white woman, the atmosphere was, to say the least, tense. Fortunately nothing serious happened, except for two or three minor scuffles which the MPs quickly sorted out. During that evening the audience was literally split down the middle, blacks one side and whites the other. A shout would come from the black half of the club 'play us some James Brown' followed by shouts from the white side 'play us some Johnny Cash'. We compromised and gave 'em some John Mayall.

Leaving Fulda behind we headed for Bad Kreuznach where we were advised, by our agent,  that by adding a couple of girls to the group, to make it more ' cabaret friendly' we could make much more money and possibly break in to the officers club circuit. Well.... two girl dancers were added. At that point I really felt like we'd completed sellling our souls but, I have to say we got a bloody good price for them.

A few more bases later, and we still hadn't got on the officers club circuit, we were asked, by a different agency, if we would go out to Vietnam for six months. The money on offer was extraordinary. However, Ady didn't fancy going back there, not surprising really considering he'd almost had his head taken off by a Viet Cong rocket whilst on tour there with Frank Yonko. So....that was pretty much the end of Seduction. Unable to find a replacement for Ady at such short notice we returned to England and a few weeks later the band Money was formed.

It had been a great and valuable experience working the US bases and, without doubt it was made much easier having Mike Lynch leading the group. Thanks Mike.

John Needham
15/4/13

   

 




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