Excerpts from Birth to Reunion

July 2015 Gigs 

Many thanks to all those people, who came to the three gigs, to support a load of people in the twilight of their lives, doing the thing they used to 50 odd years ago.

Needless to say, all our bodies and throats are suffering a bit, but it was well worth the pain to see old and new friends again. We will be doing some more, hopefully later in the year.

Thanks to Dave Peace as well for making the journey and finding the lost recordings from 1968

In the meantime, if any of you enjoyed the music remember you… Read more

March 2015 Gigs 

We had a hectic 3 days at the beginning of the month. 

On Friday 6th March, Adrian, Andy & Ducksy went to Swansea to join Michael Kennedy on his Welsh Connections show on Oystermouth Radio.  We spent a great couple of hours reminiscing about the 60s whilst playing tracks from our debut album, Born at the Bosco.

After spending the night in Swansea, we returned to our home town and the afternoon was spent getting ready for the gig at Pontypool Workingmen's club.  The three of us were all suffering from upset… Read more

Phil 

It's hard to believe it's almost a year since we lost our dear friend and great drummer, Phil Edwards. 

There are pics and memories at Phil Edwards  however my favourite is this one taken in October 1966 at the Westgate in Newport.  The occasion was Andy's stag night and yes, we got slaughtered.  We don't half look posh.

Phil, we all miss you.
 

L to R  Andy, Ducksy, Adrian & Phil (RIP)

Born at the Bosco released 

9th February 2015
The album is finally released today.

It's been available as digital downloads on Amazon and iTunes for a couple of weeks but now people can get hold of a CD from  Amazon UK

It's also available in Diverse Music, Charles Street, Newport

Diverse Music



 

Born at the Bosco 

We have been busy over the last few days, reviewing the Masters and then the artwork so, it's taken us over 50 years, but we are about to finally release our first album.

Back in the 60s we were too busy enjoying ourselves with girls, alcohol and other things so despite offers, we never went into a studio to record anything. The only recording we have is of a live gig back in 1966. It's terrible quality as it was taken using a small reel to reel at the back of a packed hall, but at least we have it.

Back in… Read more

Setup and Sound Check 

On Tuesday 23rd April, I started moving all of my equipment from where it was normally stored into our living room, to save a bit of time the next day. I would be picking up the vehicle from Banbury, which was about 10 miles away and wasn’t sure how long the pick-up process would take.  The next morning Jackie took me into Banbury to collect the van. At this stage, I wasn’t sure what sort of van it would be; only that it was going to be a small one. When we got there, I was relieved to find out that it was… Read more

More Rehearsals and Planning 

I travelled down to Wales, early on the morning of Thursday the 4th April 2013. We had arranged to start the practice at 10 in the morning, so set off at 6.45 allowing plenty of time for traffic. After paying my £6.20 to a private company, for the privilege of entering my own country, I carried on into Wales. A few miles up the motorway, I stopped at the Magor Services for a short break, eventually arriving at the YMCA, on Mendalgief Road, at just gone 9.15.
     
The route, coming from the M4 motorway, took… Read more

More Planning 

The week after the rehearsals, I received a call from Percy. He had managed to get hold of a telephone number for Steve Strong, our original drummer who I had been trying to contact since the middle of January. Percy had asked an old friend of ours, back in January, to find the number, but wires had got crossed and he didn’t follow it up. I rang the number that evening and spoke to Jan, his wife as Steve was out playing darts. After explaining who I was, I told her that I had been trying to find him for a… Read more

Rehearsals 

On Wednesday 20th February 2013, which was the day before our first mini practice at the YMCA in Newport, I travelled down to South Wales. Andy had generously offered to put me up in his house in Pontypool for all the rehearsals and the gig. I am not sure how his cats took my presence, however Andy and Jayne, his wife, certainly made me welcome.

I arrived around midday and after lunch we made our way up to the radio station BRFM Lakeside Studios, in Nantyglo. BRFM are a Community Media Centre based in… Read more

Early Planning 2 

I then switched my attention to Will Lowe. John Bentley, who I remembered from the 1960s, had contacted me and said that Will lived about 10 kilometres from his home in Australia. He said he would mention the reunion, and pass on my details, when he next saw Will. He also posted some photographs that included Will Lowe, one of which was taken at Bullmor Lido. Eventually Will, through his wife’s Facebook account, sent me a message that he had seen the photographs and they had brought back a lot of memories… Read more

Early Planning 1 

I started thinking how I would go about planning the reunion more or less as soon as I got back home on the Friday after the Celtic Manor meeting. How would we find anywhere to play?  Would anyone want to see us after nearly 50 years?  There were 6 of us at the Celtic manor, but how do we find the other people who played in the various versions of the group?  What songs would we play?  What about rehearsals?  These and many more questions were going through my brain, while I tried to enjoy the rest of the… Read more

Seeds are sown 

Sometime in early October 2012, Adrian Williams and Rob Evans were having a drink in a London Pub, when the news of the Rolling Stones having a 50th Anniversary tour was announced on TV. Adrian remarked to Rob that the 50th Anniversary of the Pieces of Mind forming was coming up in the next year and they should try and get as many of the band members together for a drink and perhaps a meal. Adrian sent me the following email on 15th October 2012:  
Hey Ducksy, how you doing?   I was in London last weekRead more

A bit about me part 10 - Music Wilderness Years 

Within 2 years, I was back at RAF Brampton in Headquarters Support Command, this time working in IT. For the next 4 years, until I left the RAF in March 1993, my role was that of a system analyst, analysing and design computer systems for use within the Command. It was during this time that I was introduced to software from the Oracle Corporation who would eventually employ me.     

In late 1988 or perhaps early 1989, my mother became ill and went into a coma. She was admitted to hospital and then released… Read more

A bit about me part 9 - Music Wilderness years 

When my 3-year tour in Germany was over, I was posted to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire. I only spent 6 months there, working in the Stats and Records Investigation Flight, before I was promoted and posted to Headquarters Inspectorate of Recruiting, based in Stanmore, North London.      

I ran a small section responsible for planning entrants into recruit training to enable a smooth and efficient flow into their subsequent trade training. My family joined me shortly after arrival, and moved into a house at RAF… Read more

A bit about me part 8 - Music Wilderness years 

Like many in the RAF, I found the idea of an overseas posting very attractive, so I had applied shortly after arriving at Brampton. At the end of 1972, I received the news that I would be posted to Germany at the end of the following March. At this time, I still held only a provisional licence, so I really needed to pass the driving test, before I went overseas.      

I quickly arranged for a test in Peterborough and, despite the fact I had been driving for a few years, I failed. I arranged another one and… Read more

A bit about me part 7 - Music Wilderness years 

When I got back home  I wanted to take a complete break from playing guitar in groups  and I also needed a job, so I could support my family. I was approaching the age of 25 and the only qualifications I had were 4 GCE ‘O’ Levels. I also had a foot in plaster that did somewhat limit my employment choices.

I was reading the employment pages of the South Wales Argus one night in January 1971 and noticed an advert for Statisticians to join the Royal Air Force (RAF). I knew next to nothing of what people in the… Read more

A bit about me part 6 - After the Pieces 

When I left the Pieces of Mind, I played in a few groups until I eventually teamed up with some friends and founded a new group called Waterfield ISE. Don’t ask me why it’s ‘ISE’, I always thought it was ‘ICE’ until a few years ago, when Chris Sharley, the drummer, put me right on the spelling.
 

Chris, Andy & Me outside my house in Rogerstone

As with the Pieces of Mind, there were a few versions of the band over the years. We differed from them in the style of music we played, concentrating more on blues… Read more

A bit about me part 5 

I started at St Julian's on the 9th September 1958 and joined Class 1S. I was aged 12 years and 9 months at the end of 1958 whereas the average age of the boys in the class was 11 years and 5 months. My Form Master, a Mr. J Newton stated that ‘John seems to have settled down quite well and is making satisfactory progress’. He marked me as achieving a term position of 12th out of 30 boys in the class.
     
I found it a bit strange at first going from a mixed primary school to a boy’s only Grammar school. The… Read more

A bit about me part 4 

Wild horses used to graze the same fields and the braver of the children used to ride the horses bareback often at alarming speeds when playing Cowboys and Indians. I was not that brave and also quite terrified of horses. These fields were adjoining Ladyhill Road where the Alway Health Centre and a Jehovah’s Witness Church appear to be now.     

It was at Alway that I was first introduced to having pets, particularly dogs, in the house. The first pet I can recall was a tabby cat called Billy. My parents had… Read more

A bit about me part 3 

In hospital we were allowed monthly visits however the distances involved and the fact my parents didn’t own a car meant that they were unable to visit me as often as they wished so I lost touch with all my school friends and even my brother and sister. I cannot be certain but I believe I had 3 visits in the 18 months I was in hospital. My parents borrowed a car from my grandfather to make the visits. I was so shy when I left hospital that it took me weeks before I would even speak to my sister.     

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