Larry the Musician
A BRIEF HISTORY!
(A more detailed appraisal of each band, together with a full discography, can be found on their relative pages.)
Although always interested in music from an early age it was only during the early days of the Mersey Beat era that I found myself getting really serious about it by playing drums for Liverpool band Dee Fenton's Silhouettes. later becoming 4 Just Men. Was lucky enough to win the "most promising drummer" award at a Battle of the Bands competition at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall. The prize was a snare drum which was presented to me by George Harrison, one of the judges, while From me to you was heading for the top of the charts. The Band fared well too gaining the fourth place spot out of over 100, and an offer from a Manchester agent to turn professional and tour the clubs around the North West and beyond.
During this era the band changed line up and name becoming Just 4 Men, while getting signed by E.M.I. for the Parlophone label and producer Ron Richards (A more detailed history will be forthcoming in the future). 2 non charting singles later and a host of gigs, the band changed the line up and became cult Freakbeat outfit Wimple Winch, releasing three non charting singles for Fontana before breaking up after a club fire in Stockport destroyed a lot of the groups equipment.
However before too long another opportunity came knocking and I found myself playing for a new outfit.as percussionist and backing vocalist. Known as the Sponge, the band were based in Manchester and toured in and around the U.K. During this period 2 members dropped out and the remaining foursome got the offer of a six week gig in the Bahamas in January 1970 so we recruited a fifth member , Dave Bowker, and duly we grabbed the opportunity. And so we found ourselves jetting out to Freeport, Grand Bahama to begin a marathon gig at the Jokers Wild (following on from another mancunian outfit called Budgie).
The nights were long and frenetic with us having to play 5 forty five minute spots as the house band with a 30 minute break in between. It was during these marathon nights that the band formed a new identity for itself and it certainly made me a better drummer as it helped the rest of the band improve on their skills. I also found a new range of lyric writing coming to me. Then our manager John Rubin phoned us to tell us he had arranged an audition with Decca when we had completed our contract. The problem was we had to go back to the U.K., and after enjoying the beautiful weather, fabulous deserted beaches, our own Caddy convertible to get around in, roomy furnished apartments at the Robin Hood complex, it was tough to tear ourselves away, but the chance of a record deal was too good to miss. So we reluctantly packed our bags and flew back to a cold, wet and miserable Manchester to rehearse some of our own material that had been inspired by our recent Bahamian adventure. It was also the inspiration for a new name. Pacific Drift was born.
Now back to a four piece we duly sailed through the audition at Decca studios in London to begin work on a single and album..
To be continued....