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Colin Richardson interview – Colosseummanager who booked bands for Lanchester Poly Arts fests.


Interviewed by Trev Teasdel

Colin Richardson – Jazz bassist – Night Manager of The Marquee Club, Manager of Colosseum and The New Jazz Orchestra – BRON Music agent, Booking Agent for Coventry’s Lanchester Poly Arts Festivals, International Manager of Charisma Records and Music Journalist and more!

What’s in a Name?

We all know the household names, the TV and recording stars, but the people who make all these things possible, who slog long hours behind the scenes to bring bands and artists to the fore often go unacknowledged. And yet they have some great stories, fascinating insights. Colin Richardson is one of ‘those’! He’s been a Jazz musician, a band leader, a venue organiser who worked with and encouraged the early Manfred Mann. He was night manager for the Marquee club, Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry, and Elton John forged their craft on stage on his watch. He was a booking agent for the BRON Music Agency, bringing some of the best future legends to Coventry Lanchester Polytechnic Arts Festival in the early 70’s, scooped the first ever live performance of Monty Python’s Flying Circus for Coventry Belgrade Theatre, managed the colossal Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum and The New Jazz Orchestra, has stories of Chris Farlowe, John Mayall, Pete Brown, Peter Green, Graham Bond, Jack Bruce and more. Edited Jon Hiseman’s biography Playing the Band. Was the international manager for Charisma Records, became a music journalist, interviewed the likes of Paul McCartney, Harry Nilsson, Genesis and more.

What follows is an extensive interview with Colin Richardson, which I did via a series of emails and phone calls in 2007 for Hobo—Coventry’s Music and Arts magazine and Website.

Enjoy –

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Dave Marshall – My Coventry DJ Story

Dave Marshall – My Coventry DJ Story
by David Marshall

My first attempt at being a D.J. was on 8/3/1969 at the church hall on Holyhead Road I was then aged 18. It was as support for a band called Time Tunnel as I knew Terry Price. 

I did not have any P:A or decks or even records ! I used a Ferguson tape recorder with the songs recorded on it and played it through a microphone. I threw most my flyers and tickets etc away probably after I got married, but did keep a few items,which you’ll find lower down on here. 

Time Tunnel were Martin Barter, Terry Price, Billy Campbell and Errol Mcgrath who went on to change the name to Coconut Mat. Around April 1969 I saw an advert in the Coventry Evening Telegraph advertising a complete D.J. set up P:A: and decks. It was 80 pounds which was quite a sum as I was only an apprentice at Rolls Royce who started in 1967 for 3 pounds 17 shillings and 6 pence for 40 hours so do not remember what I got in 1969, but not a lot more.

Well I went to view the equipment at the Abbey Hotel in Kenilworth. I remember I went with a friend and we bought it between us 40 quid each. It consisted of twin decks make forgotten, twin speakers also forgotten, a mic also forgotten and mic stand but what I remember and wish I still had was a VOX AC 30 I think was the model that many groups used. 

What surprised me when we bought it was it came with a residency every Thursday night ! We started on Thursday 17 March I have it in an old diary. My friend did not like being a DJ, so I bought him out for the 40 quid he put in. Turned out to be a good idea in the long run. The first gig I did after 17 March was April 25 for a golden wedding. Now things get a little hazy as I only have my memory and a few more clippings in the diary. The next day 26 April I was at the Virgin and Castle Kenilworth 8-12 midnight. On 9 May was at Kenilworth youth club. On 8 September had my first gig backing a band at Jaguar Apprentice Association, the band were Indian Summer.

On the 12th, four days later, I ran my first disco at Wyken Parish Hall. I think I rented it from the scouts I was in at the time. My best mates father, custom made some Garrard SP 25 decks for me, also a sound to light console that consisted of household light bulbs of different colors that worked on frequencies, he was very clever and repaired all electrical things like TV s. Later he built me a strobe. I then bought a Marshall 100 watt amp, Carlsboro speakers a Shure Unidyne mic. and sold all the old gear (regret that AC30 to this day when I see what they go for). I now had a good set up. 

We could only sell pop and crisps at Wyken Parish Hall. I booked Wandering John first on 10 January 1970 for 12 pounds 14 shillings.The place was packed so I booked them again on 13 June for a record 15 pounds as you know the going rate was a fiver, but I made money on tickets and sales. The scouts saw how popular my discos were and wanted a piece of the action AND profits. I was doing all the work and they wanted a cut for doing nothing ? I basically told them to take a hike and stopped the discos. 

The next big break I got was I do not know when. There was a DJ competition at the Wally ( Walsgrave as you well know). About 8 of us hopefuls entered. We had to each play 3 records and 1 would be eliminated every week by the judges. After 8 weeks I managed to get in the final. It was against a man called Boris. I thought I had no chance he was a good looking man to me. We each played our records and I remember 1 that went down very well with the crowd dancing. It was ‘Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache‘ by Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon if I remember correctly but that was the title. 

The judges that night were Peppermint Kreem and I cannot remember if Dr. Vince was also. To my amazement I was voted the winner. The prize was a legally binding contract with Friars Promotions. Things really took off then. I had various regular weekly residencies Wally (Walsgrave), Mercers Arms, Silver Sword, etc –  all Friars Promotions venues. The only other rival company was CBR ( Cliff and Brian Ridge ).

 I also had my own regular spots away from Friars like the Old Hall Tamworth road supporting Coconut Mat, Sportsman’s Arms, Binley club. Allesley Hotel and Chesford Grange where I met and worked with 208 DJ Tony Prince. He told me what record he wanted, I would cue it in then he would do his spiel . Next I remember passing an audition at the Rock House. I worked there Saturday afternoons and Monday night Vive La Revolve with Pete Waterman who taught me a lot. It was great listening to groups like Equals, Jimmy James and the Vagabonds,Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band. I also met Edwin Starr and have a picture with him somewhere in a box. Arthur Conley. Along with pictures of David Frost, Jimmy Tarbuck, Danny Blanchflower, Bernard Manning with his roller BM 1. Last time I saw Pete Waterman was coming out of Coombe Abbey hotel in his Bentley years ago. 

Next working at the TIC TOC: (Theatre in Coventry Theatre of Coventry) I met John Gaunt and Gerry or Jerry forgot his name and they gave me a job to play 60s, 70s and 80s music. I used to go round the pubs and clubs selling Kershaws seafood and I worked the TIC TOC: They therefore called me D:J: COCKLE It was great being able to see Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and Kirsty McColl free. In fact I have seen over 40 of the best bands in the world all thanks to my love of music. My last DJ spot in England was the DJ revival night at Mercia sporting club over 20 years ago. I did some work in Germany where I now live. Worked in Tenerife as DJ and compere where I lived for 11 years. Majorca and on a cruise liner as a guest . I used to drink with a good friend of mine in the Foresters and Whitefriars Rod Felton RIP:

Coconut Mat – formally known as Time Tunnel

Wandering John

Wandering John at Wyken Parish Hall – bottom entry.

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Dirty Stops Outs – Coventry in the 1970’s – Ruth Cherrington

Brand new book packed full of pics and memories of venues and entertainment in the 1970’s in Coventry. Many taken from this and other Hobo Magazine sites. Well worth a read.

Available from Amazon UK Here

Also read a review by Pete Clemons here

The book on display at HMV in Coventry and also available from Waterstones.
Ruth Cherrington – the author – holding the new book at the Coventry Music Museum.
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Pete Waterman, The Coventry Days. R & B band, Top Soul DJ, Soul Hole, Radio One, Philly Sound.

Pete Waterman’s Early R & B Bands

Pete Waterman’s own and fuller story can be found in his autobiography I Wish I Was Me. What follows is from my recollections and interaction with Pete in Coventry, in the 1970’s before he was well known.

c 1965, Pete Waterman took a leap in his musical development and played in a Coventry R & B band called The Pilgrims. Not much is known about this early band but soon after Pete joined Tomorrow’s Kind.

In his book, I Wish I Was Me, Pete talks about the band –

” By 1965 the whole Beatlemania phenomenon had gone barmy……..for a while at least I was in a

I Wish I Was Me

band called Tomorrow’s Kind who actually looked like they might have gone on to be famous. They didn’t, of course, but we did pick up a bit of a following and we started gigging three or four nights a week while I was still holding down the day job at the GEC. That continued for a couple of years but I  eventually realised that I didn’t have any genuine talent. I could fake it like buggery, but I was never going to be top of the charts.

One night in 1966 we were playing a gig and one of the other bands didn’t turn up, so I dashed home, got my records and played them before the band came on. Now no one really did this at that time and the Landlord of the pub where we were playing said he really liked it. He offered me 10 bob to come back again and play records the following week. This wasn’t some kind of complicated system, it was a record player with a microphone next to it going through the PA, but for 10 bob. I wasn’t about to complain. So by a quirk of fate, I went from being the lead singer in a not very good band to being the only DJ in Coventry. ….I began to play records more than I played instruments, and because I got to know the right people, I started to get people asking me to play records.

Tomorrow’s Kind c 1965 with  Pete Waterman –
Photos supplied by  Paul Hatt

Tomorrow’s Kind were apparently the band R & B and Talma Motown and the line up was

Pete Waterman on guitar and vocals,
Keith Jackson on bass,
Duncan Hall on drums,
Richard Hollis on lead guitar ,
Paul Hatt on vocals.

Tomorrow’s Kind – with Pete Waterman 1965

Tomorrow’s Kind at the Navigation Inn, Coventry c 1965 / 66

It wasn’t long before Pete Waterman became the top Soul DJ in Coventry, working with Friars Promotions, who had an arrangement with the M & B brewery to run gigs and discos in their Coventry pubs and Pete’s Soul discos at Coventry’s Locarno Ballroom were legendary, noting what kind of records got the punters on the dance. A huge Talma Motown, Northern Soul and black music fan, Pete began to make contacts with record pluggers  develop some of the skills and knowledge of the industry that would later inform his work with SAW in the 1980’s.

Early Songwriting
I met Pete Waterman in 1970, working at the GEC (General Electric Company), Stoke Works, Coventry – Telecommunications dept. I knew him at first as my Shop Steward, and ironically jotted down my lyrical idea while he was in full flow at Union meetings! I was 19, with long hair and hippy boots and involved with the Coventry Arts Umbrella Club, booking the bands for the Friday night sessions. One day in June 1970, the boss was away, the supply of  Telephone Exchange Racks we had to inspect, had dried up for a while and I began  to write a new lyric called A Lotta rain is Fallin’ . The rain was indeed bouncing off the glass roof  but the song was both a symbolic personal statement and a social statement at the same time and influenced partly by Bob Dylan‘s A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall and the newly released King Crimson album, especially the track called Epitaph. My friend came over “What are doing?” “Writing a song lyric” “You should have a talk to Pete Waterman“. I had no idea that Pete was anything more than a fellow worker and my shop steward but next thing I knew, Pete was standing over me, looking at my lyric. He took the lyric away and said he would put some music to it. I was both pleased and annoyed, as I hadn’t finished the lyric at that stage. Nonetheless, the next week he came over with mono cassette player. His voice sounded like a combination of the smooth tones of  Paul McCartney and rough R & B edge of Bob Dylan. He loved the line “There’s a lotta rivers flowin’ but the sea’s learned how to fly” so much that he repeated that line in his version of the song. I finished the lyric and gave it to him. It was the beginning of an association with him lasting through the early 70’s. He promised to play it at the walsgrave, where he ran a progressive Music night for Friars Promotions. Here’s the lyric – 


A lotta rain is fallin’ but the earth has moved aside.
There’s a lotta bullets flying but the victim’s found somewhere to hide.
There’s a lotta rivers flowin’ but the seas learned how to fly.
There’s a lotta clouds a wondering which rockets nicked the sky.
Cos the roads are moving fast but the cars are standing still
And so much is happening, yet nothin’s ever done
Oh we want to see the light but we’re dazzled by the sun.

And some people’s only sunshine
Is their Cornflakes in the morning time
And the age of  ‘Instant Sunshine’,
 in packets bright of bright display,
I know will be dawning, in some future day.

There’s a lotta tears a fallin’, and more are being cried.
There’s a lotta people trampled on as man takes another stride.
There’s a lotta smoke arising but the sky’s learned how to swim
There’s a lotta faces smiling but their hearts are feeling grim.
Cos a lotta tension’s forming and the bag’s about to burst
There’s gotta be an answer cos the world is getting worse.
A lotta help is needed to get that truck back on the road
Cos too many people are pullin’ too heavier a load.
(Bridge repeated)
Lyric copyright Trev Teasdel June / July 1970 Coventry.

Pete wrote the music using  7th chords in his version of the song but I don’t have a copy of that version but I put my own chords to the lyric some years later, using minor chords and this is an acoustic version with Middlesbrough guitarist Steve Gillgallon playing lead.

A Lotta Rain is Fallin’ – Trev Teasdel from Trev Teasdel on Vimeo.

Pete teamed me up with Bill Campbell of Coconut Mat to write a song for them. They were a ‘heavy’ band and Bill was the bass player. Black Sabbath were out about then and so I thought I’d write a bit of gritty lyric that I thought my be sung in the style of  Robert Plant to heavy power chords.

Coconut Mat 1970

Martin Barter (keyboards) Errol McGrath (Lead Singer / Guitarist) Terry Price Drummer / Billy Campbell (Bass).

This was the lyric – 


Amidst the

Living substances

Squandering their

In the furnaces they do

Making haste that’ll
only guarantee

An early grave.

And the cities burn
And the cities burn
And the cities burn
You’re gonna die
You’re gonna slowly
You’re gonna slowly
die too young
In the city fires
In the city fires
In the city fires.
Preachers scream from
the steeple
That we’re heading
for hell
But tell me people if
this place ain’t worse than hell.
waste; it’ll only guarantee an early grave.
The evil witch has cast
her jinx
Beelzebub now rules.
Pandemonium’s the
song he sings
As he
swallows all you fools.
And he’s gonna drink
your blood
As your bodies slowly
As your bodies burn
As your bodies burn
As your bodies burn
You’re gonna die
You’re gonna slowly
You’re gonna slowly
die too young
In the city fires
In the city fires
In the city fires.
Copyright Trev Teasdel July 1970 

Bill’s reaction to the lyrics was not favourable. “You can’t have a pop hit with the word ‘beelzebub in!!“. I had no idea the band were considering a single. I now know that Bill was in the Eggy with Nigel and Roger Lomas who had been in the Sorrows, a hit Coventry band from c 1965, and so they did have the contacts. The Eggy had made a single called You’re Still Mine/B: Hookey (Spark SRL1024 1969). The music was described by Broadgate Gnome as ‘Freak Beat’ and vocalist Bill Bates was formerly in The Boll Weevils.

Bill was a nice bloke and a good bass player but had a bit of a sense of  humour. He worked at the GEC too, and when he saw me, he’d rasp “Beez-leebub”, stressing the Bee! I’d love to have see his face 5 years later when Queen had a No 1 hit with Bohemian Rhapsody! What word is in that song – Beelzebub! Nonetheless, Bohemian Rhapsody is a classic and they would have had to be really good to emulate that band.

Pete knew that I had started off doing the door for the Umbrella Club and was now putting on the bands on a Friday night and said he needed some one to do the door for the his progressive Music night at the Walsgrave. I started to go down every Tuesday from June 1970, after work, getting the early enough to help him and the bands set up. Sometimes I’d book the bands for the Umbrella, sometimes I’d suggest bands we had had that went down well. Pete would be there setting up the decks, going through the hits, working out the sequence. A few records I remember him playing in mid 1970, were In the Summertime, Mungo Jerry, Yellow River by Christie,  Itchycoo  Park, Small Faces, Groovin with Mr Bloe, Mr Bloe, The Green Manalishi, Fleetwood Mac, American Woman, Guess Who, Spirit in the Sky, Norman Greenbaum, Psychedelic Shack, Temptations and most of the hits of the time. He have a two or three bands on each week. The venue was one of several run by Friars Promotion in Coventry who had a contract to provide entertainment in Coventry M & B pubs. Friars was started by Vince Holiday who headed Coventry’s first Rock n Roll band, Vince Martin and the Vampires in the late 1950’s. pete worked for Friars at several pubs and also at the Locarno, doing a Soul disco at the weekend.

Sometimes, we’d go walk about, return before 8pm when the doors opened. We’d go up to his house at Walsgrave or to his parents house, now on Pete Waterman Way, to collect equipment, or into Coventry precinct to pick something up from the electronics shop and some of  Pete’s disco fans would wave to him. On one occasion we went up to the Folk Club at the Earlsdon Cottage, where Rod Felton was performing. Pete had introduced me to Rod the week before “as the only star that Coventry has produced“. Rod was hailed by the local press as “A newcomer in the Bob Dylan Folk Tradition”, he had toured the continent, played with Coventry born Beverley Kutner (later known as Beverly Martyn,), Beverley had recorded for Decca with the likes of  Jimmy Page on her R & B records. Rod had formed The New Modern Idiot Grunt Band with Guitar maker Rob Armstrong, and toured the country’s folk clubs with their riotous jug band act. Pete had gone along to pick up his flute. If  I’d had an iPhone back then, there would be some YouTube footage here. Rod was sat out the back on the grass with friends and I watched Rod play one of his songs with Pete Waterman playing melodic flute. It was over too soon and headed back to the Walsgrave to get things started. That night we had a blues band on called Gypsy Lee, playing a startling version of  Led Zeppelin’s The Lemon Song. Pete joined them on stage to sing a raucous version of  Rock Me Baby, giving the flute some wellie, Jethro Tull style.

Here are some of the tickets from the Walsgrave summer 1970.

Profiles of some of the bands Wandering JohnLocal and very popular progressive blues band in 1970, their reunion in 2010 is on YouTube, and features Neol Davies of  Selecter as guest, Asgard were a trio band in the style of  The Nice and Pink Floyd with their own material and were being nurtured by John Peel early 1970 who put them on at Mothers in Birmingham. The were written about in John Peel’s column in Disc and Music Echo.

Pete Waterman’s Soul Hole 1973
Tilly Rutherford

By 1974 both Pete and I had left the GEC and I was now running Hobo Magazine. In August 1973 I went in to I Am, a hippy boutique in Hales Street Coventry. They had placed a full page ad in Hobo and I went to see if they’d do it a 2nd time. As I walked in the was bouncing with soul music. “What’s going down in the cellar?” “It’s Pete Waterman, he’s renting the basement for his new Soul Hole Shop. Why don;t you go down, he’ll give you an ad for the magazine, he’s trying to get it off the ground.”. Obviously I already knew Pete and went down. The place was heavin’ and I pushed my way the counter. Pete was selling Northern Soul imports and already doing a good trade. I have never seen a record shop before or since, so packed and full of such energy. Pete was hugely popular on the disco circuit in Coventry and veritable mover and shaker on the Coventry music scene. He ran the shop with his mate and fellow DJ, Tilly Rutherford, who later worked for Pete’s PLW label.

Pete Waterman sticker 1973

Pete gave me one of the promotional smiley lapel stickers he was handing out and drafted a top 15 of records that were selling in his store (except that there were only 14!). Nonetheless it went in the magazine by way of an advert. By 1974, Pete had found a larger room upstairs above the new Coventry Virgin Records shop in the City Arcade.

In 1974, we reported in Hobo reported that “Dave Simmons, Radio One DJ on the Saturday Soul programme, dedicated last week’s programme exclusively to the Philly Sound, thanks to the efforts of of our own Pete Waterman, who has just returned from the very place with a hoard of interviews and information about the Philly Sound. Pete was interviewed throughout the program by Dave and the interviews Pete himself did were broadcast.. Next issue, if Pete gets it together, we will have an article for Hobo on the Philly sound from the expert!” We didn’t that second article but we did his review of a Three Degrees concert.

This is what Pete says about 1973 in his book p34 of  I Wish I Was Me published in 2000.
It was 1973 and it was time for me to put the final bits of the jigsaw puzzle together. Time to stop sitting on the sidelines and start participating. I’d been so inspired by American music….through initial contacts, I had a standing invitation to go over to Motown and to Philadelphia International to meet Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Tom Bell. So I thought – this was the kind of arrogance that was motivating me at the time – that what I would do was make a radio show about r 7 b. Not the r & b that Mike Raven played, which was serious soul but a different side of it., pop, r&b, Motown, Three Degrees and Billy Paul…I bought myself a little tape recorder, booked myself a ticket and jumped on a plane. I’d decided to go to Philly rather than Motown because Philly seemed to be the coming thing. Motown, I’m sorry to say, seemed to be over….The trip to Philadelphia was going to be research and I had also considered writing a book about the mechanics of the r&b industry.”

By 1974, Pete had found a larger room upstairs above the new Coventry Virgin Records shop in the City Arcade. Virgin Records was a sales point for Hobo Magazine and they also advertised in the magazine. Once again Pete Waterman obliged with an advert and offered to write a Soul article for the magazine. 

Virgin Records  Store in Coventry – Pete Waterman and Tilly Rutherford
ran the Soul Hole upstairs in 1974.

Pete’s notes for an advert in Hobo Magazine.

This is the first article Pete Waterman wrote for hobo Magazine in 1974 – the second one on The Philly Sound didn’t transpire. it may well be that Tilly wrote it down for him as he has said that he could read or write at that stage. 

The article transcribed –

PETE WATERMAN’S SOUL ARTICLE (1974) from HOBO – Coventry Music and Arts Magazine

As you know by now our small shop (The Soul Hole) has now moved to the top of  Virgin Records in the City Arcade. Our new shop will, we hope, bring more people into the faith. We had a good time at the shop in the I AM boutique but the stock was getting too big for our small shop. The move will not, we hope, change the service that we are so proud of. The new shop will give us more room to serve and talk. Also you can stand up! (The Soul Hole was originally in the cellar of the I AM boutique with a low ceiling!!)

Anyway, down to business. As most of you know by now, I spent the 5th and 6th of March with the Three Degrees. Sheila, Fay and Valerie. On Monday the 5th I went to the Mayfair Hotel in London to see the girls do their own thing. The girls got on and did When Will I See You Again. The first thing that took our breath away was their see through dresses, but they are far from just good looking foxes. At dinner I sat with Peter Winfield (for all those who don’t read sleeve notes) Peter is the cat who played keyboards for BLOODSTONE on both Natural High and their new album. For all the foxes and cats not into our faith, Pete also plays for COLIN BLUNSTONE, and writes for a National rock paper.

Pete is a soul freak, like myself and we both agreed their harmonies were the tightest we’d heard for some time. The voices were fantastic, Sheila takes the lead most of the time. The next in line was Dirty Old Man, this was fantastic, with the girls showing they can handle the audience with fun and firmness. Then they did “A Woman Needs Love” proving they can sing ballads as well as up tempo Nos. Their footwork was as good as any I’ve seen before, and if any in the audience weren’t sold on that, the next was they’re single Year of Decision. It had everybody on their feet shouting for more. But it was all over, Pete and the Colin Blunstone band went off to record the Old Grey Whistle Test, and I went to the girls bedroom to have a natter to them about their early years for all the people who knock our music- God knows why!

Just as a boost to our egos, David Bowie was there to pay homage to the three ladies of soul. It seems that Rock stars are getting back to their roots with Bowie telling me that he is soon to be recording with top black acts in the states and John Lennon saying Ann Pebbles I Can Feel the Rain  is the best record for two years.

New Sounds to Look Out For

The Ojays new single is a track off their latest LP (as are all the new Philly singles) and is called For the Love of Money. The IntrudersI’ll Always love My Mama (2 Pts)

Trammps new single is a track off the 1970 British Motown company, picking the slower track. USA Marvin Gaye scores with his controversial single You Sure Like to Ball taken from the Let’s Get it On album. A new single soaring up the American charts from the M.F.S.B. band on Philly International is called Tsop, taken from the TV series Soul Train.The end five bars feature the 3 Degrees.

LP of the month – too many really to pick one but look out for Blue Magic and import Out Here on my Own Lamont / Dozier. Superb LP’s. Next Billy Paul single The Whole Town’s Talkin’ .

Also check out – Rock me BabyGeorge McCrea / Help Yourself Undisputed Truth / Dancing MachineJackson 5 / I LiedBunny Sigler / Mighty MightyEarth, Wind and Fire / Be Thankful For What You’ve Got – William Devaaughn / Chameleon Herbie Hancock / SagittariusEddie Kendicks / If You’re ReadyStaple Singers / Got To Get You BackSons of Robin Stone / Pepper Box – The Peppers

See ya soon. Keep the faith right on –

Pete Waterman (1974)

More recently author Dave Haslam quoted Pete Waterman’s article for Hobo magazine, in his 2015 book Life After Dark A History of British Nightclubs and Music Venues. 

In 1974, a look at the Hobo Whatz On columns, Pete Waterman is DJing at The Tree Tops Club – Apollo on Monday nights / Pete Waterman’s Soul Club on a Thursday night. Tiffanys (formerly Locarno), Baginton Oak – Soul Explosion, Mr Georges Nite Club.

The following are verious Coventry press cuttings from 1974 and below that two more recent articles on Pete Waterman by Pete Clemons for the Coventry Telegraph

Pete Waterman, John Bradbury and Pete Chambers putting up a Two Tone Plaque at Virgin records Coventry c 2007 – Photo John Coles I think.

Coventry Locarno where Pete Waterman was top soul DJ through the 60’s and 70’s

Pete Clemons article on Pete Waterman from Coventry Telegraph recent years, in two parts.

Pete Waterman’s Childhood home in Coventry.

An earlier article on The Walsgrave with Pete Waterman – by Pete Clemons in the Coventry Telegraph.

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Coventry Venues 1970’s

The Dive Bar (Lady Godiva)

From the 60’s onwards student / Cov muso cellar bar, later Biker / Punk venue.  Disoc and bands some times. Hobo got it’s start and restart through connections here.

Lady Godiva (Dive Bar) 60’s /  70’s

Later Photos

Little Viv in Dive from back in late 70’s / early 80’s

Paul Hooper (Indian Summer)’s disco. From Hobo Magazine1974


The Golden Cross has house bands, discos, jam sessions and Folk Acoustic sessions since the early 70’s. The Hobo Workshop put on bands there c 1974. 

More to come to this post.

St. Osburgs


General Wolf

Charterhouse Pub

Mercers Arms

The Walsgrave

The White Bear (Willenhall)

Earlsdon Cottage

The Smithfield

The Cathedral Coventry.

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Coventry Virgin Record Store Charts 1973 / 74 for Hobo Magazine

Coventry Virgin Record Store Charts 1973 / 74

These are the Coventry Virgin Records Album Charts 1973 – 74 as published in  Hobo – Coventry Music and Arts Magazine.

Virgin Records in Coventry was a far cry from the impersonal, walk through mega-stores of more recent

times. This was the first-born venture of  Richard Branson and the 60’s ethos still permeated his business approach. The Coventry store was relatively small run by Mike O’Hare and Malc. You could hang out in the store and listen to grooves through the headphones or chat to the guys about music. The guys lived and breathed the music, enthused and argue over it around serving the customers. They also used to do album reviews for Hobo. They weren’t sent by the Job Centre with a certificate in sales speak!

Upstairs by 1974, was Pete Waterman with his mate (also a Coventry DJ and later a SAW manager)  Tilly, in the Soul Hole selling rare soul imports. Both Pete and Mike and Malc were very supportive of Hobo. We sold copies of  Hobo through both the Virgin and Soul Hole stores; both placed ads in the mag to help us, wrote reviews and articles for us and compiled charts for their stores. The Peter Waterman Soul chart is the section about Pete but here are the Virgin Record Album Charts (Coventry Store) as compiled for Hobo. Later in the 70’s John Bradbury (Specials), Stu Knapper (Riot Act) and John Coles (Silk Disco), Texas Dave McGarry (later a major promoter of Texas music in Australia) all worked for Virgin and more. Simon Frith – author of  the Sociology of Rock and many other books, was living in Coventry in the 70’s while a senior lecture at Warwick University. Stu Knapper said he often used to pop in to the Coventry Virgin Record store.

Coventry Virgin Record Store was awarded one of the Coventry Music Two Tone Plaque and the lauch c 2007, brought together John Bradbury, Pete Waterman, John Coles and Pete Chambers.

Published by Trev Teasdel  in Hobo – Coventry Music and Arts Magazine and compiled by Mike O’Hare and Malc.

The July 1973 Virgin chart is incomplete in the archive – only the last ten entries of the Top 30 remain. It’s possible, as the July issue didn’t come out that to first 20 were used for the issue that came out early August 73 but I can;t be sure. Anyway – this is No 21 to 30 of the July chart!

July 1973


21 Terry Riley – Rainbow in Curved Air.

22 Paul Simon – Rhymin Simon

23 Kevin Ayres – Bananamour

24 Roy Harper – Stormcock

25 Roxy Music – For Your Pleasure

26 Pink Floyd – Meddle

27 David Bowie – Space Oddity

28 Pink Floyd – Relics

29 Budgie – Never Turn Your Back.

30 Johnny Winter – Still Alive and Well.

VIRGIN RECORDS ALBUM CHART (Coventry Store) Hobo Magazine August 1973
Albums August 1973
1 Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
2 David Bowie – Hunky Dory

3 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
4 Faust – Tapes
5 Santana – McLaughlin
6 George Harrison – Material World
7 David Bowie – Aladdin Sane
8 Genesis – Live
9 Clifford T Ward – Home Thoughts
10 Roy Wood – Boulders
11 David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
12 Cat Stevens – Foreigner
13 Terry Riley – Rainbow in C
14 David Bowie – Man Who Sold the World
15 Lindisfarne – Live
16 Alan Hull – Pipedream
17 Mott the Hoople – Mott
18 Genesis – Foxtrot
19 Pink Floyd – Meddle
20 Beatles – 67-68


Albums October 1973
1 Rolling Stones – Goat’s Head Soup
2 Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
3 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
4 Status Quo – Hello
5 David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust
6 David Bowie – Man Who Stole the World
7 Pink Floyd – Meddle
8 David Bowie – Aladdin Sane
9 Beatles – 66 / 70
10 Yes – Yes Album
11 Led Zeppelin – 5
12 Uriah Heap – Sweet Freedom
13 David Bowie – Hunky Dory
14 Yes – Yes Songs
15 Van Morrison – Hard Rose the Highway
16 Slade – Sladest
17 Budgie – Never Turn Your Back
18 Beatles – 62 – 67
19 Faust
20 Steely Dan – Countdown to Ecstasy


Albums Feb 1974

1 Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells
2 Leo Sayer – Silverbird
3 Roxy Music – Stranded
4 Yes – Tales from Topographical Oceans
5 ELP – Brain Salad Surgery
6 Who – Quadrophenia
7 Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
8 Bob Dylan – Dylan
9 Gong – Angels Eggs
10 David Bowie – Pin Ups
11 Fripp and Eno – No Pussy Footing
12 Elton John – Yellow Brick Road
13 Santana – Welcome
14 Alice Cooper – Muscle of Love
15 Wings – Band on the Run
16 John Lennon – Mind Games
17 Faces – Faces Live
18 Donovan – Escence to Escence
19 Ringo Starr – Ringo
20 Nazareth – Loud n Proud


Albums March 1974
1 Free – Free Story
2 Tangerine Dream – Phaedra
3 Joni Mitchell – Court and Spark
4 Deep Purple – Burn
5 Bob Dylan – Planet Waves
6 Wings – Band on the Run
7 Steely Dan – Pretzel Logic
8 Roy Harper – Valentine
9 Slade – Old, New and Borrowed
10 Incredible String Band
11 Eno – Here Come the Warm Jets
12 Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
13 Pink Floyd – A Nice Pair
14 Steeleye Span – Now we’re Six
15 Sutherland Bros / Quiver = Dream Kid
16 Montrose
17 Lou Reed – Rock n Roll Animal
18 Mick Ronson – Slaughter on 10th Avenue
19 Carley Simon – Hot Cakes
20 Temptations – 1990


Albums June 1974
1 Gong – Camembert Electrique

2 Mike Oldfield – Tubular Bells

3 Rick Wakeman – Journey
4 David Bowie Dianond Dogs
5 Wings – Band on the Run
6 Uriah Heap – Wonder World
7 Sparks – Kimona
8 Tangerine Dream – Phaedra
9 Bonzo Dog Dog Do Dah Band – History of
10 Bad Company


June 1974 – Singles Chart
1 Sparks – This Town Ain’t Big Eough for the Both of Us
2 Bad company – Can’t Get Enough
3 Montrose – Bad Motor Scooter
4 Brian Ferry – The In Crowd
5 Allman Bros – Jessica
6 Captain Beefheart – Upon the My oh My
7 Kevin Coyne – I Believe in Love
8 Jan Akkarman – House of the King
9 ELP – Jerusalem
10 Black Oak Arkansas – Jim Dandy


June 1974 Virgin Charts Coventry in Hobo

Hobo – Coventry Virgin Album Chart February 1974


“We talked to Tim and John here. Virgin records have been open for 6 years in Coventry. They stock everything here (except from brass bands) and are open 6 days a week. As they are a chain store, it means that they can get most records but there are often delays cos they don’t deal with the distributors direct. A chart single costs 75p here. they also have discounts on the top 50 albums (about £1 off) plus various bargains in their ‘cheap rack’. This is the only shop in Coventry where they have headphones for you to listen to records first”

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Dream Discotheques and Mood Lighting Systems – 1974

Dream Discotheques and Mood Lighting Systems 

Rob Dalton sent a letter to Hobo in 1974 in regard to his popular discos and Mood Lighting systems, which we covered in Hobo issue 3 February 1974.

Transcript of the letter – 

Dear Trev.

I am writing concerning the next issue of Hobo. Drop me a line and tell me when the next issue is out and I’ll distribute in Rugby.

I should be grateful if you could include somewhere in the mag, some of the enclosed ads.

Best wishes Rob.

PS The ‘Dream Machine‘ is now on the verge of being marketed all over Europe via international distributors.

Dream has now available three Dream lighting computers for hire, complete with all necessary lights, in addition to a whole range of liquid wheel, cassette and graphic effects projectors, strobes, UV and PA etc etc. plus, of course our own unique high powered roadshows available for larger bookings.

We are now also offering a technical support service for those who are having trouble with their gear, whether it be sound or lights.


From Hobo Issue 3 February 1974


“Dream Discotheque appears, at first sight, to be just another disco unit but alas they have a phew innovations up their trouser legs. No, not a new form of contraceptive but a lighting computer for discos. Designed and patented by Rob Dalton, B. Eng.  M.I.E.E., C.E., M.I. E. E. E. (USA). This is one of the most advanced lighting systems in in Europe and has taken about two years to develop. The computer can be coupled with existing conventional equipment or any of the £2000 worth of equipment designed by Dream. The lighting computer itself costs in the region of £550 (Prices as at 1974!). Dream both sell and hire this equipment for mobile and fixed discos. They also do their own disco shows incorporating the gear, ie Becketts and Caesars in Nuneaton. If you are interested in this and want to know more, Dream can be contacted by phoning Rugby 3372, Rob Dalton, 20, Constable Rd.”

From the Hobo Whatz On April 1974
Imperial Hotel, 165 Oxford Street, Rugby, Wednesdays Dream Discotheque, / Thursdays – Lanch’s own Disco – DJ Captain Christmas.

NEW – I received an email from Mike Murphy October 2015 – 

just found your blog because I was searching for Hanson’s music shop as I
found a receipt from them in a box of 78’s that I inherited from my parents.
We used to live in Rugby.

I notice that on your venues page there is mention of Captain Christmas DJ at
the Imperial Hotel in 1974. I was part of CC in the early 70’s (mainly I think
because I was the only one who could correctly wire a mains plug). The main CC
people were Pete Thornley and Dave Proffitt. They split up many years ago; Pete
is an artist now and Dave is a UK athletics qualified coach.

I attach a scan of the CC business card from that early 70’s time.

– Mike

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Coventry Technical College Student Union Gigs 1974

In 1974, Hobo Magazine got a letter from PENNI – Ents sec. at Coventry Technical College for the

Students’ Union regarding their gigs. 1974 saw the power cuts which affected a lot of things including the gig schedule and the Tech College, as can be seen from the letter.

Hobo carried a piece about the band in Issue No 3 February 1974 in the Brum Beat Column of that issue.
abstracted from a publicity sheet by Craig Ward of the Sunshine Music Agency in Coventry 1974 for Hobo magazine. Here is the original ‘Bullsheet’ written by Craig Ward.

Walrus Gumboot recorded live at Bogarts in Birmingham 1974 – sound quality not the best but gives a good idea of their sound and material in concert.

In a later issue of Hobo April 1974 we advertised another gig at the Coventry Technical College in the Whatz on.

Coventry Technical College April 5th Presents MERLIN live on stage with Glade Sounds Disco in the Refrectory, Albany Road, Coventry.

This is the B side of the card advertising their single.

Put my Spell on You – Merlin

Merlin was a heavy rock band that moved down to London from the North East of England in 1970-1971. They had residencies at ‘The Factory‘ in Leicester Square and The ‘Scotch Of St. James’ in that time. Apart from playing the circuit in London ie; Marquee, Temple, Ronnie Scotts, Hatchets etc. They also played the home counties and the university scene country wide. They broke up in the early 70’s. The band had been together since 1967, playing locally in the North East and evolving into a very solid outfit. The final, and best line up of the band consisted of: Doug Haley (keyboard & vocals). Harry Bryzinski (Guitar). Colin Hall (Vocals). Bill Johnson (bass). Tommy Guthrie (Drums). Other members who passed through their ranks were: Des Long (Drums) Simon Wallace” (Drums).” William Johnson http://www.answers.com/Q/Who_was_the_70’s_rock_band_Merlin


From at least 1972, when I played there, the Tech had a folk club in the Refectory until at least the late 70’s.

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Coventry Discos in the 1970’s

Coventry Discos in the 1970’s

Some of these are entries or adverts from various issues of Hobo 1973 – 5 or material collected or from other sources.

From Hobo Issue 2 – August 1973 – Some places to go column.

“Mondays – Stereo progressive Disco, Boatyard, Gosford Street, Coventry  7.30 pm 10p.

Golem Disco
Rock, Soul etc. Dave Thomas, 56, Grafton Street, Coventry. (Advertised in Hobo Issue 3 February 1974 as below).


Monday, Thursday and Sunday. Over 21’s Weddington Hotel, Weddington Rd. Nuneaton.

( Mentioned in the Whatz On in  in Hobo Issue 3 February 1974)

APOLLO CLUB, Tree Tops, Foleshill Road, Coventry. Monday Nights – DJ Pete Waterman.

(Mentioned in the Whatz On in  in Hobo Issue 3 February 1974 and in April 1974)

PETE WATERMAN’S SOUL CLUB at the Tree Tops, Foleshill Road, Coventry. Thursday Nights.

(Mentioned in the Whatz On in  in Hobo Issue 3 February 1974). By April 1974 it was called Soul Explosion (Hobo Whatz On April 1974)

TREE TOPS Foleshill Road, Coventry, Disco Monday nights – funky, soul pop, reggae with Tom Martin, Jeff Carvell and Mark Brown. From Hobo Whatz on July 1974.

TIFFANY’S (Formerly the Locarno). Monday and Friday nights disco with Philly Phreak PETE WATERMAN. From Hobo Whatz On July 1974.

CHARTERHOUSE DISCO Pete Waterman and Mark Brown star in the ship shape disco at the Charterhouse, Terry Road, Coventry. Friday nights. (Mentioned in the Whatz On in  in Hobo Issue 3 February 1974). By April 1974, it was called Jolly Roger Disco (Hobo Whatz On April 1974).
The Charter House, Terry Road, Coventry.

BECKETTS – Chase Inn, Coleshill Road, Chapel End, Nuneaton. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.. Top live bands and intimate Disc Jockey’s. with Dream Disco Lighting. Craig Ward DJ (of Sunshine Music Agency, Gulson Road Coventry.).

(Mentioned in the Whatz On in  in Hobo Issue 3 February 1974)

CLIMAX Disco with DJ Malvin Preece. Coventry Precinct. Sunday Nights.
(Mentioned in the Whatz On in  in Hobo Issue 3 February 1974)

SOUNDS OF VENUS DISCO – 59, Craven Street, Coventry, 57347 / 89795
(Advertised in Hobo Issue No 3, February 1974 – small ad)
Also COVEN 74 at the Radford – Progressive music with Sounds of Venus Disco – From Hobo Whatz On April 1974.

322, Hipswell Highway, Coventry 455033.
(Advertised in Hobo Issue No 3, February 1974 – small ad)

66, Ivy Bridge Road, Coventry 411746
(Advertised in Hobo Issue No 3, February 1974 – small ad)

Paul Hooper (Ex Indian Summer) Coventry 75769
(Advertised in Hobo Issue No 3, February 1974 – small ad and full ad in Issue 4 1974)


Alistair Paul – Coventry 75721.

ACE DISCO at the Thistle, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. (In Hobo Whatz On April 1974)

OLD BALL DISCO at the Old Ball, Ball Inn. Rock n Roll. Monday nights. (From Hobo Whatz On April 1974)

The WALSGRAVE Disco and bands – Mondays and Tuesdays – From Hobo Whatz On April 1974.

CLOUDS DISCO at Courtauld’s Social Club. From Hobo Whatz On April 1974.

Below, advert from hobo Magazine 1974 – colourised.

CLOUDS DISCO at the Sportsman’s Arms, Allesley, Coventry,  Sunday nights. From Hobo Whatz On July 1974.

BIG SOUNDS DISCO at the Bear Inn, High Street Coventry. (Hobo Whatz On April 1974). Possibly Silk Disco. Friday Nights. in July 1974 issue of Hobo, it was on Friday nights.

GULLIVERS  Rock and Progressive Music – Friday nights at the Sportsman’s Arms, Coventry. (Hobo Whatz On April 1974).

STEAM PACKET Tree Tops, Foleshill Road, Coventry. New Rock Venue with Heavy Disco. Featuring the best in Live Bands. 55p Students 25p. Direct Enterprises. (Hobo Whatz On April 1974.)

GOLDEN CROSS – Disco upstairs with John Bargent (Bow), Moonraker Disco. Hobo Whatz on April 1974.John was a co founder of Hobo with me in 1973. He ran Roguestar Promotions then (separate post on them coming up soon). he was also road manager for Khayyam (Coventry Jazz Rock outfit) on their European tour in the autumn of 1973. 

GLADE SOUNDS – They did the disco in 1974 for Coventry Technical College Student Union Gigs. More on those gigs on the post about Cov tech college gigs on here.

RADFORD HOTEL Wednesday disco – Soul and funky with Tom Martin and Jeff Carvell.

CHUMS Thursday Rock, prog disco by Silk (see separate post for them on here). High Street Coventry. From Hobo Whatz On July 1974.

BAGINTON SOUL EXPLOSION Thursday nights at the The Baginton Oak, Baginton Village, Coventry, with Pete Waterman.

Mr. GEORGE’S NIGHTCLUB Friday night with Pete Waterman.

ANTELOPE Motorcycle Club, Butts, Coventry. DJ’s Tom Martin and Jeff Carvell. Tuesday nights – Rock n Roll. also Thurs, Sat, Sun Soul and Pop.


Advertised in Hobo small ads in 1974. Si Cook and Little John. This is the original info sheet that gave Hobo.


The Colin Campbell has a long history as part of the Coventry Music Scene right up to the present. In 1970 the upstairs room played host to the Village Disco and gigs with Top Prog DJ Malv Preece.

From Broadgate Gnome 1970

Advert from Hobo Magazine 1974.

Advert from Hobo Magazine in 1974

CONTACT DISCO – Alan Clark 1974.

Below, Advert in Hobo Magazine 1974

St. Osburg’s Hall, Coventry with Desmond Dekker 9th August 1974 

Spode Sounds – Mobile Disco, Coventry 1974

Patatheque Promotions Coventry 1974

Discos took place at the weekends in The Jaguar, Tally Ho and the The Dive Bar (Lady Godiva) 1972 onwards.

Axis Disco – Mercers Arms – Henry’s Blues House session 1971

Boatyard – Stereo Progresive Disco – Hand in Heart, Far Gosford Street.

Covern, Hare and Squirrel, New Union Street, 1972 – Rock Disco

Coven 74 club.Radford Hotel. Progressive music with Sounds of Venue Disco Weds 1974

Thursday nights 1972 Mandy’s at the Royal Naval Club, Top Prog Gigs supported by The T. F. Much Disco. 

Imperial Hotel Rugby. Dream Disco and lights.

Trocadero, Weston Hall, Bulkington. Silk Disco Mon / Tues. 

Purple Haze Disco – Steve and Al Varney (bass player with Fission). Mostly based at the Coventry Arts Umbrella Club prior to 1972. Also same outfit known variously as Alisterpeda (with Pete Webb).

Discos at the Lanch Poly.
Count Down at the Baginton Oak 1972


John Bargent’s (Bo’s) disco c 1973

Above – A Hobo Workshop band list 1974 for Sept / Oct.

(Work in progress – to be continued)

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