Thursday, July 6, 2017

It was 60 years ago today St. Hubbins and Tufnel taught the band to play

Today is the 60th anniversary of the day that David St. Hubbins met Nigel Tufnel and formed The Originals, which eventually became SPINAL TAP.


Nigel Tufnel and David St. Hubbins grew up in the same city block in London's Squatney District, knowing each other only slightly. David played guitar in a skiffle band, the Creatures; Nigel did the same for the Lovely Lads. The two began jamming together outside tube stations, and eventually, formed their first legitimate band, the Originals, later changed to the New Originals when the East End Originals (now the Regulars) threatened suit.

The New Originals collapsed in 1964 without record company support, but David and Nigel were hired by the legendary Johnny Goodshow Revue and played the Seaside Circuit, gigging after hours at local pubs — and it was in a Southampton tavern, The Bucket (now the Bucket and Pail), that they met and jammed with John "Stumpy" Pepys, then drummer for Leslie Cheswick Soul Explosion (now Les & Mary Cheswick).

When the weather turned cold, the three hooked up with bassist Ronnie Pudding from the Cheap Dates (now Cheapdate) and began working in London as the Thamesmen. They released their debut single on Abbey, Gimme Some Money b/w Cups and Cakes, in late spring 1965. It did not hit the charts immediately.

Meanwhile, the band played extensively in the Benelux nations, particularly Amsterdam's Long-Hair Club, where they met sixteen-year-old keyboard prodigy Jan Van Der Kvelk, who did musical charts for the band and used his Dutch music-biz connections to get them work. Leaving Amsterdam and Van Der Kvelk behind, the band returned to Britain as the Dutchmen and found Gimme Some Money climbing the charts. The band quickly changed their name back to the Thamesmen but the single had peaked and vanished from sight.

During the next eighteen months the group performed under the following names: Rave Breakers, Hellcats, Flamin' Daemons, Shiners, Mondos, the Doppel Gang, the Peoples, Loose Lips, Waffles, Hot Waffles, Silver Service, The Mud Below, and the Tufnel-St. Hubbins Group; personnel included: Nick Wax, Tony Brixton, Dicky Laine, and Denny Upham (keyboards); Jimmy Adams, Geoff Clovington (horns); Julie Scrubbs-Martin, Lhasa Apso (backing vocals); and briefly Little Danny Schindler (vocals, harmonica), later with Shvegman-Hayman-Kvelkman Blues Band featuring Little Danny Schindler (Shvegman, Hayman and Kvelkman signed with CPR Records as Talmud).

Continued here...

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