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  1. #776
    The Foam Hand
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post
    Hey... I know Joey!.

    After he left the Predators, he joined my band, Southern Bound in 1998. Joey was an excellent double bass player. He stayed in Southern bound for about 6 months. After joey left, he opened up a Tattoo shop in Lincoln. I painted his shop sign for him.

    I last saw Joey at a gig in Long Eaton about two years ago. He's still doing tattoos.
    Haha, mad isn’t it how it all crosses over.
    I liked The Predators and he was a good double bass player. My mate that played for him was more a rock/blues player but fitted in quite well.


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  3. #777
    The Foam Hand
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alf-engelos Mindminackers View Post
    Brilliant

    Love it when the small world of music overlaps

    Rocka/Brynn, either of you ever hear of Mano based Rockabilly bands "The Black Cadillacs" (Col Fletcher the singer) or "The Instigators"?

    I've been looking for pics on the net, but they were gigging mostly 90's, pre-social media & digi-cams.
    The Instigators rings a bell. At one time Punk and Rockabilly/Pychobilly bands would be on the same night, I think we were on the same bill with them once. The Narrowboat was good for that, the crowd would be a mix same as the bands but everyone was just into guitar music.


  4. #778
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryn Gunn View Post
    Haha, mad isn’t it how it all crosses over.
    I liked The Predators and he was a good double bass player. My mate that played for him was more a rock/blues player but fitted in quite well.
    Aye... I've been pounding my brain all afternoon, trying to think of Joey's surname. It was Ward. I remember Joey having' a strong Mansfield accent too.


  5. #779

    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alf-engelos Mindminackers View Post
    Brilliant

    Love it when the small world of music overlaps

    Rocka/Brynn, either of you ever hear of Mano based Rockabilly bands "The Black Cadillacs" (Col Fletcher the singer) or "The Instigators"?

    I've been looking for pics on the net, but they were gigging mostly 90's, pre-social media & digi-cams.
    Take a look here alf and you might find some pictures of the Instigators - https://www.google.com/search?q=%22T...=2204&bih=1104


  6. #780
    Matchday Squad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post
    I know Mark Betts!!!

    Small world Rocka, used to work away with Mark all over the Uk, he’s a top bloke.


  7. #781
    Massive Member
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandiacre Red View Post
    Small world Rocka, used to work away with Mark all over the Uk, he’s a top bloke.
    He's a very close relation of mine if it's the same person?! Is he the eldest of 3 siblings and used to be a very good footballer?


  8. #782
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Chapter Twenty Four. "The Reunion"

    It was now 1996. Me and Karen had split up in the January of that year. I'd now bought a new house in Belper, Derbyshire.

    The Preachers were looking for ideas to do a photo shoot. I had an idea, maybe we could do a photo shoot at the fairground. Darren and Nick agreed, so off to the fair we went, to see my old mate Billy Warwick.

    The fair just happened to be open at the Bass Recreation Ground in Derby. So off we went to see Billy Warwick. Bill was very pleased to see me. It was great to see Bill again. It had been nearly six years since we'd last seen each other. Bill gave me, Darren and Nick plenty of free rides on his Skid. Bill even encouraged me to perform some of my old tricks again.
    It was a great night at the fair, catching up with the showmen again. A lot of my old Gaff Lad mates were gone. There was no Teabag, no Crockerpod and no John either. The fairground had drastically changed over that period of my absence. Most of the lads off the Speedway and the Waltzer had moved on too. But...one of the highlights of that night was the look on Darren and Nick's face, as I demonstrated my death defying tricks on the Skid. They'd never seen that side of my repertoire of talents, lol.

    During that reunion with Bill and his family, we'd somehow arranged to do a gig on the Skid. It was Bill's idea. Nobody had ever performed a live gig before on a fairground ride. It was arranged to coincide with Bill's birthday. I made some flyers and posters and we advertised the gig on the rock 'n' scene.

    The gig was at the fairground on a small park at Sinfin, near Derby. It was a lovely warm summer's evening as we arrived at the fair. Bill had arranged our music to be played on the other rides as we performed. So all the rides had their speakers plugged into our PA system. We did a few sound checks, then waited for the fair to open. We were due to perform at 8.30pm. The fair was opening at 7pm. As the fair opened, I'd noticed there were a few rockabillies turning up to see our performance. Never mind the fact I was playing drums for the Preachers at the fair. I, tonight for one night only... was going to be 'Rembrandt' once again!!!. Bill had given the band members unlimited free rides for the night. As the evening got closer to performance time, more rock 'n' roll folk were turning up. I was having the time of my life showing off to my new audience. Those rockabillies had never seen me in this light before. I was like Spiderman leaping from car to car, showing off my tricks.

    The night was a huge success, and feather in my cap too. Performing live on the fairground in front of a decent crowd, was one night everyone will remember for a long time. The only problem was... it had set my taste buds going again for the Gaffs! So I decided to leave the Preachers and go back to the fairs. That performance on the Bill's Skid was to be my last with the Preachers. It had been a very unique gig.

    After I'd settled into my new house in Belper, I was off out at the weekends going to various fairs. I was back on the fairs as a 'Casual'. This meant I was only working weekends... and NO pulldowns either! So all I was doing was turning up at the fairs, spinning Waltzer cars and chatting up the birds! This was the life! During the week I'd be painting signs. The Waltzers were a lot easier than the skids to work on.

    I was loving my time as a Casual. There were also a lot more old Gaff Lads that had gone casual too. They were too old to do the heavy work, but they still had the skills the showmen required.I would turn up at the gaff on a Thursday or a Friday mess about on the rides, go to the Bevvy with the lads, spend the weekend on the fair, then go home on Monday to paint. The Gaff was in my blood. I was addicted to it. I loved my time performing in the bands and gigging but the Gaff was were I belonged.

    Last edited by rockabilly; 03-03-21 at 16:08.

  9. #783
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.




    Bill and Violet Warwick.


  10. #784
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Chapter Twenty-five. “All Steamed Up!”

    It was now early 1997, I was “Getting crazy on the Waltzers”. That was the first line of a 1981 Dire Straits song, ‘The Tunnel of Love” Every weekend I was away with the fair working on the Waltzers, spinning those cars. Armstrong’s, Whiting’s, Proctor’s… all of those were fairground firms where I was spending my weekends and spare time.

    Along with the fairs, I was still attending ‘rockabilly gigs’. After the fairs had closed on a Sunday night, I would dash home and get changed ready for a Sunday night out at the Moon, Derby. It was at one those Moon gigs where I was to meet a new lady in my life.

    Kay was a rockabilly lass, I started dating her not long after meeting her at the moon. It wasn’t long before she moved in with me at Belper. Kay was the opposite to Karen. She loved the rockabilly lifestyle and what’s more… she loved the fairgrounds too.

    It was now the summer of 1997. I’d just completed a painted sign for a ‘non guild’ showman. A non guild showman was an independent showman, they would have their own fairs away from the normal main streem fairs. The chap I’d painted the sign for was called Brian. Brian had purchased a fairground ‘Rifle Range’. He was attending the ‘Elvaston Castle Steam Rally’.

    When we got to the Rally, I presented the sign to Brian. He was very happy with my work, and paid me a bit extra for my efforts. Without further delay, Brian attached the new sign to his riffle range. As Brian was fixing the sign to his ‘Shooter’ (rifle range), a chap came over for a nosey. “Who painted this sign?” The chap said. “Me” I replied. “Well my lad, when you’ve practised more, and eventually get half decent, I just might let you paint for me” he said. The cheeky fucking bastard, who does he think he is? Those words he said were to fester in my mind for a year or two!

    It turns out that cheeky bastard was a very well known ride owner on the ‘Vintage and Steam Rally’ scene called Jack. More about that twat in a later chapter!

    During the Elvaston steam weekend, I was approached by several non guild showmen wanting artwork done for their rides and stalls too. Evlaston had been good to me, plenty of work was coming in.

    It was at this Steam event I was to meet an Independent showman called Paul Hyman. Paul and family had just acquired an old Dodgem ride. He and family had just started restoring the ride and were looking for a fairground artist that could paint his dodgem ride in the 1950s style. Yep I was the man for the job. So for the next couple of years or so, I was paining Paul’s dodgems, as and when he’d completed a section for me to paint.

    By the end of 1997 and well into 1998, I’d drifted away from the normal fairgrounds and had latched on to the ‘Preservation’ and Steam Engine Rally weekends. Those weekends were great. Both myself and Kay we’re working on the rides together. To be fair, Kay had taken to the vintage Gaffs like a duck to water. We were working on the rides during the day, then we would relax in the beer tents at night. On several occasions we’d end up drinking Scrumpy watching the Wurzels performing all their hit songs. They often performed in the beer tents at the larger Steam Rallies.


  11. #785
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post

    We were working on the rides during the day, then we would relax in the beer tents at night. On several occasions we’d end up drinking Scrumpy watching the Wurzels performing all their hit songs. They often performed in the beer tents at the larger Steam Rallies.
    Please tell me you promised to paint her combine harvester!


  12. #786
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    Please tell me you promised to paint her combine harvester!
    Ooh arrh!!!


  13. #787
    Bob McKinlay
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    I bet he drove his tractor through her haystack last night - oo-arr, oo-arr!

    „I believe in socialism because it seems more humanitarian, rather than every man for himself and 'I'm alright jack' and all those arsehole businessmen with all the loot. I made up my mind from viewing society from that angle. That's where I'm from and there's where I've made my decisions from. That's why I believe in socialism“

    „Don't forget you're alive. 'Cause sometimes when you walk around the city and you're in a bad mood, you can think, hey, wait a minute, we're alive! We don't know what the next second will bring and what a fantastic thing this is. This can get easily forgotten in the routine of life, and that's something I'm trying to bring to my attention at all times. Don't forget you're alive. We're not dead, you know. This is the greatest thing.”

    — Joe Strummer

  14. #788
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.




    These are two 'Gag boards' I painted for Brian's Shooter. I've got a photo somewhere... of the 'Rifle Range' main sign, that fitted on the top of the shooter. When I find the photo I'll post it.


  15. #789
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Strummer View Post
    I bet he drove his tractor through her haystack last night - oo-arr, oo-arr!
    Aye.... and I'll throw me pitch fork at you, to keep you quiet!!!


  16. #790
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Chapter, Twenty Six. “Southern Bound”.

    It was a nice peaceful afternoon,I was sitting at home with a beer in my hand, I’d just finished varnishing a sign when the phone rang. I answered the phone, the voice on the other end of the phone didn’t sound familiar. “Hello, is that Gary?” Said the voice. “Yes, can I help you?” I said . “My name is Mick Roberts, I was given your number by Darren Lince” he said. At that moment my heart sank, it could only mean one thing… somebody wants a drummer for the night, or even worse , wants a drummer full time.

    Mick explained that he was in a band called Southern Bound. They were due to perform just down the road from me at a place called Denby. Then he said those dreaded words “We’re desperate for a full time drummer”. “When’s the gig?” I asked. “Tomorrow” he replied. “Fuckin’ ‘ell!” I said. “We’re looking for a stand up drummer, I’ve seen your drumming in the Preachers, you’re just what we need” he said. The funny thing was… I’d recently saw Southern Bound do a gig in a pub in Derby, at the ‘The Horse and Groom’. They were ok, but nowt special. Before I had chance to think about Mick’s offer, he was giving me directions to the location of where I was to go for an audition. It was in the middle of bloody Leicester! And… I had to go tonight. Talk about short notice!
    I arrived at the venue for the audition. It was in a steel fabrication factory, just off Belgrave Gate. It was Mick’s own fabrication business, so they’d rehearse there on a regular basis. On my arrival, Mick introduced me to the other two band members, Mark and ‘Big Feet’. Big feet happened to be a policeman. To be fair, they were all a friendly bunch.

    Mick gave me a copy of the set list. I knew most of the songs. So we ran through and rehearsed the set list. “What do you think Gary?” Said Mick. “I’ll let you know after the gig tomorrow night.” I told him.

    The following night, I arrived at the Bull’s Head at Denby. I did the gig and to be fair it went well. After packing my drums away Mick asked “Well… the jobs yours if you want it?”. “When’s the next gig?” I asked. Mick’s reply surprised me “Skeggy Weekender” he replied. “Count me in” I told him.

    In comparison to the Preachers, Southern Bound were gigging seven nights a week. You name it we had a gig there. All dayers, weekenders, we were performing all over the country.

    Now… there was one particular night after a gig in Coventry. It was a pub called ‘The Pilot’. Mick pulled me aside. “Gary, I need a word with you” he said. “What’s up… am I not what you’re looking for?” I asked. “No you daft fucker, listen to me” he said. Mick went on to tell me how he had big plans for the band. I could tell from the very first moment I’d spoken to Mick on the phone he was very ambitious. He went on to explain that in order to expand our horizons… he needed to replace Mark and Big Feet. “They’re not right for the bands image” he explained. “That’s why we got rid of our old drummer and got you instead” he said. “We need a better image” he went on to say.

    We carried on gigging here, there and everywhere. Then one night Mick rang me up and told me Mark had decided to leave the band. “We’ve got a brilliant replacement “ he said excitedly. “Who?” I asked. “Wait and see” he said.

    When I turned up at Mick’s place for the next rehearsal, there, standing before my very eyes, was my old pal Darren Lince. Yes, it was the now ex Preachers guitarist. Me and Darren had always got on very well together. Always up a laugh together, were me and Daz. After the rehearsal, Mick waited for Big feet to leave. He said to myself and Darren, “I’ve got a good ‘double bass man’ lined up, should Big Feet decide to leave.” It was only a matter of time before Big Feet decided to quit. He made no secret of the fact that he wasn’t keen on gigging seven days a week.

    Big Feet’s replacement was a lad called Joey Ward, he came from Mansfield. Joey was a good bass man, he fitted in with the band well. Joey eventually left the band after a few months. The heavy gigging schedule was getting too much for him. Joey ended up starting a tattoo business in Lincoln. Guess who painted his shop sign for him…. Yeah, me.

    Joey’s replacement was Don Wicherley, he’d been the bass man in the ‘neo rockabilly’ band “The Space Cadets”. Fuck me… Don was one hell of a double bass player, and he could also sing and write a good song too. Don was one of the best bass players I’d ever seen. Unfortunately, Don left Southern Bound to pursue his interests in Australia!

    Mick eventually got pissed off with replacing double bass players, so he decided to do the job himself. He was a quick learner, and became very good in a matter of weeks. We now had the final Southern Bound line up, and the image we wanted too.

    Last edited by rockabilly; 04-03-21 at 17:27.

  17. #791
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.



    The originall Southern Bound line up.


  18. #792
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.



    Southern Bound with Don on Double Bass.


  19. #793
    Viv Anderson
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post


    Southern Bound with Don on Double Bass.
    it's a better look than when you're all identikit wankers

    EXACT SAME BENEFITS

  20. #794
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redemption View Post
    it's a better look than when you're all identikit wankers



  21. #795
    The Foam Hand
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    How old will Joey Ward be now Rocka?
    In The Predators he seemed a good ten years older than our lot, I think that image makes blokes look older though. Probably because growing up a lot of the older pit men were Teds so it was an image we associated with the Mesters.


  22. #796
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryn Gunn View Post
    How old will Joey Ward be now Rocka?
    In The Predators he seemed a good ten years older than our lot, I think that image makes blokes look older though. Probably because growing up a lot of the older pit men were Teds so it was an image we associated with the Mesters.
    I'm sure he said he was around the same age as me. So he could be 60yrs old next year.


  23. #797
    The Foam Hand
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Oh, I had to laugh when you said your heart sank with the phone call.
    I haven’t done anything for a good five years but still get a call every now and then. The last one was a bass player I’ve been in bands with, his opening line on the phone was “hear me out”, straight away I thought now what idea has he got.
    He said “we are doing a Dexys Midnight Runners tribute and we know you’ll pick it up fast”. Decent band but not my bag, so I made a bunch of excuses up why I couldn’t do it!


  24. #798
    The Foam Hand
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post
    I'm sure he said he was around the same age as me. So he could be 60yrs old next year.
    Yeah that sounds about right as I thought.


  25. #799
    Gaff Lad
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    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryn Gunn View Post
    Oh, I had to laugh when you said your heart sank with the phone call.
    I haven’t done anything for a good five years but still get a call every now and then. The last one was a bass player I’ve been in bands with, his opening line on the phone was “hear me out”, straight away I thought now what idea has he got.
    He said “we are doing a Dexys Midnight Runners tribute and we know you’ll pick it up fast”. Decent band but not my bag, so I made a bunch of excuses up why I couldn’t do it!
    At the time I should have turned Mick down. As things turned out, I'm glad I didn't.

    So you don't see yourself playing in a band wearing dungarees?


  26. #800

    Default Re: "The Tunnel of Love" My life on the Traveling Fairgrounds, by rockabilly.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockabilly View Post
    Chapter Twenty-five. “All Steamed Up!”

    It was now early 1997, I was “Getting crazy on the Waltzers”. That was the first line of a 1981 Dire Straits song, ‘The Tunnel of Love” Every weekend I was away with the fair working on the Waltzers, spinning those cars. Armstrong’s, Whiting’s, Proctor’s… all of those were fairground firms where I was spending my weekends and spare time.
    .
    "Getting crazy on the waltzers but it's the life that I choose, Sing about the sixblade, sing about the switchback and a torture tattoo......."










 

 

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