Great to see your fabulous site. Reading through the names of the artistes brings back many happy memories of those "pioneer" days.
For our first gig at the Cali, I recall two stages one at each end of the large auditorium. Nero & his boys (Nero & the Gladiators - ed) were at one end whilst we (Barry Edwards & the Semitones) were at the other. Lance Fortune starred. All three acts were on sole contract with the George Cooper Organisation at that time.Our line up was:
Our "net" fee that we received from our agent was "low" and subsequently we only played once more at the venue, when (with the same line-up) the advertisers omitted my name (much to the amusement of my band members) - but I was there.
The amazing Colin Green was on lead guitar for Nero's
Gladiators that first
night with "Boots" Slade on bass guitar - he later moved over to Georgie Fame's Blue Flames (also with the George Cooper Org.)
We came straight from the Wimbledon Palais, where the previous night we had "head-lined" The Allisons." The Palais paid us even less than we received from the Cali' gigs (£2!)
A certain Wally C Fox of the Top Twenty Club in Rushden, Northants in a letter dated 4.11.1960 (still in my possession) advised our manager to contact the Cali'. "Tommy Atkins" obviously did just that!
Enclosed are copies of the two photographs that featured in the foyer at Dunstable that night. One of myself, " Barry Edwards" the other of my backing group, "the Semi-tones."
Congrats on such an excellent site!
Thanks to Barry Edwards for the photos
Well, what happened to the semitones??
Eric sadly we lost contact with, I hope u r well Eric, Phil Besbrode, Tom Fox And myself (Tony Walter) due to my playing in the 2 i's coffee bar YES !!!! THEEE !!!!! for all u who remember , Tom Littlewood standing at the door, with the roll of pound notes in his pocket.. Ha Ha
Sorry I digress, Tom Phil and I picked up a super gig in Germany playing the American bases, we travelled to Turkey, France, Spain, Italia doing floor shows with an acrobat duo called "Romano and Mourin" with Tony doing his famous drum solo with flashing light in the double bass drums a la Eric Delaney, (what happened to Eric D?)
Dear Phil, Went on to doing Guitar shows with his wife Tike,( he was a super guitarist) using the name Phil Martell he now is the owner of a beautiful hotel in London and doing very well,
now comes the down side..
Darling Tom Fox committed suicide some years ago, we were very close Tom, Phil and I through the years, God why couldn't he have talked to us? never forget u Tom the great memories we had together.
We lost contact with Barry when we moved to Germany, I hope life has been kind to u Barry, thanks for the good times, I'll never forget your darling mum and dad they were stars, my best wishes and luv for the future for you and yours.
And me Tony? fortunately I have been very privileged through the years
I remained in Germany, until Kennedy's assassination and then had the offer from a group I had met in Germany to join them in Sweden where they had a recording contract and their drummer had left to join SWEET in England.
Since then I've worked as a studio musician (I read notes) had my own Big Band, done TV's with Eartha Kitt, Gene Vincent, Clark Terry, Toots Tillman, and a host of names you hoped you'd never hear again.
Now have a company that hires out Rodeo Bulls, Bouncy Castles etc. and enjoy doing my KARAOKE show at weekends, got married 6 months ago to Britt and we live 6 months (the winter months of course) in Tenerife, Swedish winters are hell but the summers are WONDERFUL.
well darlings anybody wants to get in touch, e me at:
or internet www.tbg.just.nu
Luv for ever for any old friends who read this.
This was 5 lives in a minute !!
Best Wishes Tony Walter.
Thanks for your time Jaybee hope this could be interesting 4 u. Hugs Tony.
Barry Edwards and the Semi-tones
It was very interesting to learn of what happened to the original "Semi-tones" after they left these shores, but distressing to hear of poor Tom Fox.
Barry Edwards and the Semi-tones carried on, of course, with different personnel, and over the years comprised of many top names in the rock world, e.g. Jeff Beck; "Big" Jim Sullivan; Clem Cattini; Heinz; Roger Greenaway; Brian Gregg; Roger Rettig; etc etc.
We had a residency at, arguably, London's West End's most fashionable nightspot at that time, The Pigalle Restaurant in Piccadilly.
We played with Roy Orbison; Gene Vincent; Jerry Lee Lewis; and recorded with dear old Terry Dene but turned down the Star Club in Hamburg just before the Beatles accepted the venue, not one of our best business decisions.
Thirty years later I formed Generation Gap with my son, Russ "Edwards," on lead guitar (the best young guitarist I ever played with) and we topped many big bills. We were on the Granada cabaret circuit alongside the Searchers, Brotherhood of Man, Little and Large, Bernard Manning, etc. etc.
I became an actor for 20 years working in Hollywood and played Jesus Christ in the Academy Award winning film, "The Silent Witness." These days, under my birth name, Barry Cranfield, I run The Musicians' Accountancy Service Ltd and Theatrical Accountancy Services Ltd with my younger son, Ben and wife, Carol.
Take care, and don't forget - don't work too hard!