Fairport Convention auditioning drummer circa 1967 ?

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tim walmsley
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Fairport Convention auditioning drummer circa 1967 ?

Post by tim walmsley » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:31 pm

This is going back some way now, but quite an event at the time.The trouble is I cannot remember much except the band auditioned for a drummer in the prep school hall behind Leigh Hunt.I had just started school and was in Maine B and somehow got taken into the hall where there was an audience of boys watching.That's all I recall.It must have made an impression on me as I started playing drums soon after,continued into the school band then turned pro after school and had quite a career playing in rock,funk,jazz and folk bands all over the planet. Was it Toff Lucas who was the drummer being auditioned ? It went well but he was not allowed to join them...

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jhopgood
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Re: Fairport Convention auditioning drummer circa 1967 ?

Post by jhopgood » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:47 am

I have asked Derek Austin, who was involved in a lot of music at that time.
Just after my time, I'm afraid.
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Re: Fairport Convention auditioning drummer circa 1967 ?

Post by J.R. » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:00 pm

..... and mine, but I do remember the hall in question well !
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Re: Fairport Convention auditioning drummer circa 1967 ?

Post by Great Plum » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:18 pm

Was this after their drummer had died in the car accident and they wrote Meet on the Ledge in memory of him?
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J.R.
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Re: Fairport Convention auditioning drummer circa 1967 ?

Post by J.R. » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:49 pm

This page might help.

No mention of the person you seek, but there is a reference to the fatal car-crash !

http://www.fairportconvention.com/the_l ... _story.php
John Rutley. Prep B & Coleridge B. 1958-1963.

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Re: Fairport Convention auditioning drummer circa 1967 ?

Post by Jandewalden » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:04 pm

Tim,
I too remember Fairport auditioning for a drummer at CH after Martin Lamble had died in the car accident. Their target I believe was primarily Chris Thomas of Col B, a (lead) drummer in the band and who played drums in a school pick up band. I believe that Malcolm Day (Col A) (another side drummer in the band) also auditioned, who later returned to CH as Head of Catering! He may be able to add some more information. Not sure if "Meet on The Ledge" was actually written in memory or not (a wonderful song) but the couple on the sleeve of Unhalfbricking the band's 3rd album were Martin Lamble's parents outside their home. My memory tells me that Chris was actually offered the position but parental pressure encouraged Chris to stay on at CH, but that may be apocryphal...

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Re: Fairport Convention auditioning drummer circa 1967 ?

Post by bluegrunt » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:40 pm

J.R. wrote:No mention of the person you seek, but there is a reference to the fatal car-crash !

http://www.fairportconvention.com/the_l ... _story.php
Thanks for the link. There is more elsewhere on the site. Here is Simon Nicol's eye witness account of the crash, showing just how devastating an accident such as this can be, not only on those who are injured.
In May 1969 we'd played at Mothers in Birmingham, a nice gig. Sandy had been picked up by Trevor Lucas of Eclection (they were an item) so she wasn't in the van but the rest of us were. Our road manager and sound guy, Harvey Bramham, did most of the driving although I'd do a bit to relieve him. On this particular gig, he'd been feeling peaky all day, quite unwell. Harvey held it together most of the way back, as far as Mill Hill on the M1 motorway. I had a bad migraine so I wasn't in a seat; I was stretched out on the floor with a blanket over my head trying to sleep off this terrible headache.

When I woke up, the van was doing things which didn't involve the wheels being in contact with the ground: when it stopped moving, I was the only one left in it. All the gear had gone out of the back and all the people had gone out through the windows and doors. It was about half-three in the morning. We'd gone down an embankment beside near the Scratchwood service area. Everyone was spread out: some moving as they came to; some not moving at all. The emergency services rescued us pretty quickly. Jeannie Franklyn, Richard's girlfriend, was dead by the time the ambulance arrived. At the hospital, they weren't able to bring Martin Lamble back to life. Ashley looked terrible – his face was smashed up and, as with any scalp or face wound, he was covered in blood. Richard had broken his shoulder and Harvey had gone through the windscreen and ended up ninety feet away in a very bad state. I was extremely fortunate in that I had no serious injuries, just bruises and mild concussion.

That was a big watershed, I think. In the aftermath, we thought a lot about what to do, whether to call it a day. It had been fun while it lasted but it took a definite effort of will to continue. It had given us a lot but now it had taken away a lot: was it worth it if it was going to cost people their lives? Martin was only 18 or 19 years old. He would have gone on to have been so much more than just another drummer, another musician: there was something very special about him.

Even though Sandy had not been present at the accident, she was devastated. When she visited us the day after in hospital they nearly had to admit her too because she was so distressed. I remember she was very upset about Martin for ages. We all felt psychologically traumatised as well as being damaged physically. But by the time Ashley's face was back together and Richard's bones were healing, we'd decided to rebuild the band and carry on.

I believe the crash hung over the band in unseen ways. I think it was one of the unspoken reasons for the next big change, when Ashley decided to leave the band later that year after we had recorded Liege & Lief and relaunched the band to some fanfare and acclaim. Whatever the upfront reasons about musical differences and wanting to concentrate on traditional material, I think the accident was the underlying reason why Ashley felt he couldn't continue with us.
LHA 69-72; Col A 72-75

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