Tony Green Memories
When I orginally started to learn how to play guitar, I started having lessons with Reg Welch, however after a short period of time Reg stopped giving lessons and passed me onto another tutor called Steve Alexander (I haven’t come across Steve for about 40 years), as it turns out my brother-in-laws sister who was called Christine Livesey married Reg Welch, my 1st stab at a band was with a drummer called Phil Rothwell, Phil later became good friends with Phil Cool and did some work together, Phil Rothwell took his own life 4 or 5 years ago.
I was in several bands over the next few years, but whichever band I was in we always struggled getting a bass player, so I decided to give it a go and I joined a band called Hard Cash, Hard Cash were Howard Richardson on drums, Sam Hill on guitar and vocals, Kev Chapman on lead, and me on bass, we had two roadies Nick Walker and Mick ?, everything seemed to move really fast from there, we had gigs coming out of ears, we seemed to be going places, we played at Preston public hall a few times, on one of the occasions it was a charity event, us and Ed Stewart (Stewpot), it was full of young girls, when we came on they all started screaming LOL, we kept turning round looking to see who they were screaming at !!!, then we had to sign autographs for ages (I was`nt used to signing autographs, I`ll bet mine looked like a 3 year old had signed it).
We played at various venues around Preston, at one stage we had a an Austrian music professor after backing us, it was the guy who wrote march of the mods and various other old hits, he wanted us to do a track he had written called “streets”, it was really corny and he would`nt let us change it, he wanted us to wear suits and ties with go go dancers on stage with us, we played at Preston public hall dressed in suits with the go go dancers, we were a rock band not a cabaret band, and we decided to decline his offer, he then gave the track to Bryan Ferry but he let him alter it totally, it was a success for him.
We also made a record with a studio somewhere near Lancaster, the studio owner was the guy who when recording the Beatles in their early days was the one who told them ” you wont get anywhere with a name like the Beatles”.
We played at Liverpool Empire in a country and western competition, the dressing rooms had just about every famous signature possible on the walls, believe it or not some of the other bands were sabotaging other bands equipment, cutting plugs off and pouring liquid into amplifiers, the judges were Faron Young and Tex Ritter, you had a 20 minute slot, we did our spot, and Faron Young said “I am not too sure whether that was country and western or not, but I did like it”, we certainly were not country and western, maybe a bit of country rock perhaps, we came fourth out of about 30 bands, not too bad really.
We were the 1st band to play in the open in the middle of Preston, the 1st time we did it, it was a friday night and we set up in front of the Jolly Farmer and the Market Tavern, within minutes all the pubs emptied and came out to watch us, it was absolutely magic, we got our electricty from some odd looking sockets on the posts holding the covered market roof up (apparently unregulated current), it started raining and when Sam & Kev were singing you could see electric going across their noses LOL, we stopped playing and Sam said “has anybody got any old tennis shoes we can borrow ?”.
We got a provisional recording contract with MCA records, we got some really big gigs in the pipeline, Liverpool stadium, Wembley arena etc it was only support with no money, we played a gig near London and on the way home there was a row between between the bands manager, Howard and Kev, the band split up, I was devastated, I went for an audition with Joe Cockers backing band, very good musicians, very professional, but to them it was a business, to me it was enjoyment, half way through the audition I thought this is`nt for me, and I decided to leave the audition, I packed up and sold all my gear and did not play again for 32 years.
Then about 5 years ago I met a guy called John Kenny (Rubian), I had a few guitar lessons from John, just learning lead solos, started a band called Off the rails, and thats what I am doing now, if you want to know anything about off the rails, have a look at www.offtherails.me.uk
I hope I haven’t bored you all to death, thanks for reading this, all the best, Tony Green