The Wailers
info courtesy Rolf Hannet

Originally formed as The Demons, then renamed The Hellions.

Derek Leckenby lead
Barry Whitwam drums
Ian Waller a.k.a. Big Wal bass





Derek Leckenby and Barry  Whitwam joined Herman and the Hermits on 1st April 1964 and it was Derek's idea to change the name to Herman's Hermits.

If my memory serves me well (cue for a song?) the Wailers were a later version of the Hellions. They included the famous "Big Wal" on bass and also Derek Leckenby (guitar) and Barry
Whitwam (drums), both later of Herman's Hermits.

At one time they, or maybe just the Hellions, included Lawrence Jordan who left partly because (he told me) it was becoming the fashion to dispense with the> traditional rhythm guitarist (which he was) when blues and rock began superceding pop.

The groups were based in Burnage I think, because Wal lived there. I seem to recall the van with the name emblazoned on the side being parked outside his house!

Bob Ainsworth
The Demons

There were just 4 houses in our little street in Burnage, Wal lived at one end, no 7 and I was at no 1.

The van was a 1958 Austin J2 Omnicoach, reg no 668 CTU.  I bought it off my employer, FJ Gibson Ltd, builders from Wilmslow.

Bobs' right, "The Wailers" was written down the sides, Kiwi, the other road manager and myself, wanted to keep the van nicely cleaned and shiny, but Wal preferred to leave all the lipstick "autographs" on it as a sign of the bands' popularity !!

When Barry & Lek left to join Hermans' Hermits, Wal joined The Spinning Tops, thus the signs on the van had to be changed !

Dave Chalmers



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