The band with the same members kept changing its’ name between 1963 and 1964 but settled on The Torrents in July 1964 apart from a brief spell in 1965 where we were called Just Nuthin. God knows where that came from, we were probably feeling depressed at the time. We quickly changed the name again a member change about July 1965 to FUZZ for which I will submit details to go on a separate web page.
In photo above left to right: John Senior (guitar) David Faulkner (bass), Alan Lord (drums), John (Joe B) Fletcher (guitar)…….I don’t know who the girl was, but I think she was called Bobby, she wasn’t in the band or one of the band members girl friends, she was a (the) supporter I think.
In photo below, Faulky is looking over the front of his amp to see if the right notes are coming out. Joeb and I didn’t do that, we just hoped for the best. These are the only three photos I have of the band from this period. Taken at SharstonHall in 1964.
My guitar on the left was a Rossetti Airstream 3. The bass was home made (I made it) at night school for Dave Faulkner, with his help. Joe B’s guitar was a Watkins Rapier, by far the best instrument of the three. My Rossetti had a playing action resembling “Robin of Loxley’s” long bow, it was impossible to tune and almost impossible to play.
A few years later when I bought my Gibson 330 and I had my blues band I used the Rossetti for playing slide guitar. It was even crap for that! I eventually sold it when I was hard up to Mazels on London Road for £3 which included the hard case I made for it.
Although I didn’t know Diccon Hubbard at the time, Diccon later bought the case off Mazels on its own for about a fiver. Some years later when I went to see Joe B Fletcher playing with the Chasers I went back stage to meet the boys and I recognised Diccon’s guitar case immediately. There was no mistaking “my handiwork” and “the quality Fablon” covering it, all peeling off round the edges where the self adhesive had since failed, (leatherette was in another league). Not to mention the handle on it that came off one of my mums kitchen drawers. My mum never did know where it disappeared to. Every time she wanted to get the potato peeler she had to open the drawer with a screw driver.
At the time of the 3 photos all three of us had, new Vox Ac30’s on HP. When the agreement for mine was signed for by my mum (remarried as Mrs Parry) with my stepfather as guarantor, Jim Reno charged me 6 old pence for the stamp that you sign across on the contract. I only just had enough bus fare with me to get home and I remember that after paying the 6d for the stamp not having enough left to get home to Baguley which cost 1s and 3d. I had to get off the 101 bus at Wythenshawe Road Northenden (Henley’s Garage) a fare of 9d and walk the last couple of miles home through Wythenshawe Park…… It was a good job I hadn’t gone to pick my amplifier up to take it home…… I had just gone into Reno’s to take the signed “Agreement” back after my step father had signed as guarantor at home because he wouldn’t go to the shop. (He wouldn’t even speak to me. His signature was obtained through my mum mediating). I’ve attached copies of the payment card for the Vox AC 30 and the operating instructions which I thought might interest somebody.
We thought we were going places.
We were………sometimes by bus but mainly using bogies made out of planks of wood, (nicked from building sites), furnished with pram wheels. I remember going to the gig in the photographs above that day by bus. We didn’t call them gigs in those days we called them shows. I think Alan’s brother; Walter transported the amplifiers in his dads Austin Cambridge, while we took the guitars on the bus, (too far for bogies) The reason I’ve not mentioned a PA system is because it was early days and only on our wish list.
We formed in March 1963 and we did our first show at Baguley Hall school fifth year school leaving party on the 25th July 1963 calling ourselves The Corals. We played on the main stage in the school assembly hall, all playing through the auxiliary input channel on my Grundig TK20, 3 watt output tape recorder, (well before we had proper amplifiers).
Everything was patched together using the latest technology, (twisted joints and insulation tape), and the sound that could be heard coming out of the three by five inch speaker, well! I remember all the teachers watching us from the sidelines of the hall entrances; they must have had a real laugh. We were deadly serious. The second show was on the 27th July 1963 at 36 Floatshall Road Wythenshawe at Alan’s brother Walter’s 21st birthday in the living room. I’ve attached a copy the song list. After that there was no stopping us. After a few months we were playing all over Manchester, once we got our Vox amps and P.A. System.
We Played at countless Labour Clubs, Working Men’s Clubs, The Princess Theatre Club, The Domino Club, The Poco Poco, The College Theatre Club, Bury Palais, Stamford Hall, The Bodega, Belle Vue, The Skyways Coffee Bar Style Road, The Lyndale Eccles dozens of youths clubs, countless pubs including The Woodcourt Sale, Church Inn Northenden, Stamford Arms Lymm, The Waterloo Chetham Hill, The Southern Hotel Chorlton, The Beehive Swinton, and countless others. Not to mention the 21st birthdays and weddings etc.
And later lots of Town clubs. All the Takis clubs like Top of the Town, Roundtrees, Disco Takis, Spring Gardens etc………we never did a Bar Mitzvah though. We were never asked.
The business card at the top of the page says: John Fletcher group leader. This was probably because he was projected to get more GCEs than the rest of us. He did. He was also older than the rest of us.
Our very first song list - July 1963
As previously mentioned the band changed its name again about October 1965 to FUZZ with a member change for which I will submit separate information.
Before we got our Vox AC 30’s I had a Fenton Weill 20 watt amplifier and JoeB had a Watkins Dominator. As I wrote earlier we used to cart them round on bogies.
On the night of 7th Feb 1964 we had just finished practising at the Methodist Church Youth Club on Bowland Road and were transporting our amplifiers back home on the bogies. When we turned the corner off Bowland Road onto Hall lane we had to run the gauntlet with the Baguley Hall Youth Club mob coming out about the same time.
Diary entry reads:
7th Feb 1964
Rehearsal MDYC 7.00……….Went to Rehurse 7.30……. went through the act 1 ½ times……“Not Bad” “Not Good” The mike sounded a bit rough.………Saw the Scorpions on the way home they were waiting for a bus… they laughed at our bogies.
The Scorpions had played at Baguley Hall youth club and were waiting for a bus home……… At least we had our own transport.
A month later on 6th March 1964 history nearly repeated itself. Once again we had to run the gauntlet with the Baguley Hall youth club mob coming out and to avoid them and having the piss taken out of us we started to run with our bogies. JoeB’s amp was on the top of my amp on my bogie and as we were running his Watkins Dominator fell off the top. The back fell off and all the guts fell out of it.
Diary entry reads:
6th March 1964
Went to rehearsal at 7.15…..Didn’t get there till 7.30 and didn’t start till 8.00 then we went right through the act once……….On the way home we stated to run because the people were coming out of Baguley Hall. Joeb’s amp fell off the top of mine and fell to bits. It took us hours to fix.
Things improved after that…….JoeB got his own bogie………….
21 May 2015
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It has just occurred to me after reading the web page that the Business Card doesn't have a phone number on it. Some Business! I've looked at our earlier cards and none of them have a phone number printed on also. None of us had a phone. No ... Read More
It has just occurred to me after reading the web page that the Business Card doesn't have a phone number on it. Some Business! I've looked at our earlier cards and none of them have a phone number printed on also. None of us had a phone. No wonder nobody phoned us offering work, we had to go out looking for it and rely on repeat gigs. Unbelievable, but it was 1963. Phones were also on our wish list.
Hi John,Icame across the Torrents by accident, it was great to see my old mates in the photos. It brought the memories flooding back. Iremember the night I went with you when you played at Skyways, that was a good night as I remember.I still see ... Read More
Hi John,Icame across the Torrents by accident, it was great to see my old mates in the photos. It brought the memories flooding back. Iremember the night I went with you when you played at Skyways, that was a good night as I remember.I still see Joeb about twice a year,he doesn't play anymore and that's a pity.I still play drums, organ,and Tenor sax,but don't gig. The last time I saw you was at the Everlys concert in the eighties.Anyway keep well, there's not many of us left. Rob.
Well done John! You've put that together brilliantly. If you've got an email address I can furnish you with a few other bits of memorabilia like the newspaper cutting when we played at Wythenshawe Labour Club and other bits from when we were ... Read More
Well done John! You've put that together brilliantly. If you've got an email address I can furnish you with a few other bits of memorabilia like the newspaper cutting when we played at Wythenshawe Labour Club and other bits from when we were 'Fuzz' or maybe one other many names we had. My email is 'firstname.lastname@example.org'