Rebel Rousers

Early Days Part 2

  • George Mattingley
  • Dave Edmunds
  • Cliff Bennett
  • Ben Jordan
  • Mike Currell
  • Mickey King
  • Alfie James
  • Sid Phillips
  • Terry Searley
  • Reggie Squires
  • Keith Franklin
  • Rick Winters
  • Brian St. George
  • George (arm), Ben, Cliff, Alfie & Mick

    George, Ben, Cliff, Alfie & Mick

    Johnny Buck, Ben, Cliff, Alfie, George

    George, Ben, Cliff, Alfie & Mick
    Here are some more early pictures (all probably from sometime in 1958)- although by this time the group were keenly experimenting with rock and roll and had improved not only their instruments, but also their ability to play them. Cliff had by this time moved on from his old boxwood guitar to the more workmanlike Hofner Committee. Ben Jordan's stand-up bass was also a big move forward from the tea chest!

    Lead guitarist Mike Currell had moved on from a cheap boxwood instrument to a second hand Framus which he'd purchased from Terry Dene. However, he soon moved on to a Hofner Club 40 with which he is pictured here (left).

    The big acoustic bass soon gave way to a Framus Star bass, pictured here (right) in the hands of Ben Jordan. Although the instrument changed a few more times within the next year or two, Ben's established bass instrument would then remain of the guitar type..

    By the autumn of 1958, Sid Phillips had become an established group member. He wanted to join the band, but they didn't need another guitar player so he rapidly learned to play the piano like Jerry Lee Lewis and was thus instantly invited to join as their keyboardist. Despite being very much the novice member of the group to begin with, Sid had a natural flair for music and soon moved on to the Alto saxophone which was crucial in giving the group a broader sound than most of their contemporaries. Shortly before Sid began playing the sax, he had experimented with a small electronic keyboard- a 'Univox' that could emulate a sax to some extent. This allowed the band to start using 'Rebel Rouser' as their instrumental-intro. During the early months of 1959, he just suddenly turned up waving his newly acquired saxophone- swapped for the Univox! Mike Currell is quoted as exclaiming at the time, "Oops! 40% of the repertoire gone, and we've got a gig to do! ". However, despite Sid's impetuous behaviour, his special talent came through and in a very short time he learned all the tunes on Alto.
    A popular venue for the band was the village hall at Ickenham where these pictures were taken. Here is a very young looking Cliff (left) with a Graziosa guitar, and an increasingly accomplished Sid (right) in full flow on Saxophone.  

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