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Before and Beyond the Dusty Hutt
Ian was active on the Ayrshire music scene from the mid '60s playing with a number of bands before moving south in the mid '70s.
He gives his recollections of those groups here.
was the Sonics. The pic above was taken at Mauchline carnival 1967.
The lineup in the pic is
Left to right - Ian McNair rhythm guitar / vocals, Alistair Reid lead
guitar / vocals, James (Cookie) Inness bass
guitar, Jim Newlands drums
Jimmy Hastings was our electric accordion player but he was busy taking the photo.
Ian Lambert was our regular
drummer, but he was away in England at the time. Cookie made that bass himself.
We played local functions and
dances,doing pop songs,Shadows instrumentals and traditional Scottish
stuff with Jimmy on the accordion.
Next up was Regus Negative - no photos unfortunately. From
Cumnock/Mauchline. Dates: 1968-1970.
Tommy McGinn-vocals, Ian McNair -
Drew McCartney drums, Billy (Neddy) Williamson (sadly another who is no
with us) - organ,
Alistair Milroy-bass. Francie Mone - may also have played bass
briefly. Musical Style: Pop/Rock covers.
Our manager, Jim (Scomper) Park used to run
New Cumnock community centre and booked the
bands that played there. Hence we supported Dream Police,The Poets etc.
He booked the Bay City Rollers so we got to go to Edinburgh in return courtesy of Tam
When Tommy McGuin left the Ragus to join The Merry Macs we
employed Alex (Cooky) Cook from the Glasgow band, The Willow Pattern.
They were a
really popular band and played Cumnock loads of times yet there is no
record of them on the net except a mention of Cooky doing 'Please Stay' at the Flamingo in Glasgow!
The highlight for me with Regus Negative (and maybe in my career overall) was when we supported the
Foundations on Christmas Eve 1968. This was at Preston Town Hall.
were at number one with 'Build Me Up Buttercup' and they
turned up in a Lincon Continental limo. Their roadies were
dressed than us!
Then, we travelled back to play Ayr ice rink on Christmas
Day - to play there was our ambition up until then as we used to go there mid-week to
watch the Hi Fi Combo.
When the Regus split up I joined 'The Level Section' and the line up
for that band therefore became: Daw - sax; John 'Bead' Brodie -
trumpet; Sam Findlay - drums;
Puggy Alan - bass; Jimmy
McBride from Mauchline - vocals; and me on guitar. Jim Park
took them under his wing plus our i.e. Ragus's van and PA.
John/ Bead did a good vocal on Fleetwood Mac's 'Oh Well'. He
used to turn the middle control on my Marshall up in the middle of
the solo for Marmalade's 'Reflections'.
A great character, always friendly and we has lots of laughs.
A four piece Dusty Hutt wearing matching suits - they were green apparently.
L-R: Ronnie White (guitar); Ian McNair (bass/vocals; Billy Logan (keyboards); Drew McCartney (drums).
Then I joined the Dusty Hutt.
originally put together in 1969 to fill a residency job at the Bobby
Jones on a Friday and Troon Concert Hall on the Saturday nights for the Pleasureama organisation.
Original members were: Billy Logan - keyboards,
Ronnie White - guitar, Norman Lawrence - vocals/harmonica, Pat Ferry - bass, Iain Lambert - drums.
From Mauchline, Cumnock & Dalmellington. I replaced Pat
Ferry when he left.
By then, the band had been doing the
residency gigs for several months and that carried on for a few more
before we started doing gigs for the big Glasgow agency MAC (Music
They got us gigs all over Scotland supporting the top names they had on
We played mostly the latest chart stuff and like most
of the day we tried the heavier sound as well.
Members came and went. Tommy McGinn replaced Norman Laurence
then I took over the vocals as well as bass.
replaced Ian Lambert. After I left the band carried on for a
year with Gordon from Kilmarnock's Henry
Crow on vocals and Ian Alan from Ayr on bass.
Manager - Jim Reddy from Catrine. Roadies -
Robert 'Miff' Smith & George.
Miff pointed me in the right
direction for songs to play with the band.
Among his greatest
suggestions were 'Private Number', 'Good Times' by the Easybeats and 'Ride My See-Saw' by the Moody Blues.
Our Miff is a renowned party singer/guitarist and Rockingscots web site contributor. See
pic above - taken in Arran - probably summer 1975
Who is that in the background? Why it's John Brodie once of 'Level Section' with girlfriend Maggie!
The guitar (a Yamaha FG) got nicked in October of that year from our squat in Park Royal!
Pic courtesy of Tina Thompson. That was the past. Want to know the
future? Then see Tina's astrology site at: http://www.astrotina.com
Back to Ian: I joined the Breeez (no pics) when John Hawkey left to play with the Corsairs.
We played the Red Lion in
Prestwick, the Loans Inn near Troon and the Tup in Cumnock.
Whiteside was a Beatles and Rorry Galagher fan so we did a lot of these
also did takes of the Humble Pie numbers off the "Smoking"
album and old Small Faces songs.
Our party piece was Bowie's Hang on to
Yourself. We were also with the MAC agency in Glasgow.
Moving on again, I was in the 'Precinct
Showband', 1973-1974. See pic above.
L-R, Ian McNair -guitar; John Whiteside - bass; Colin
Sinclair - drums; Jimmy Hastings - Farfisa organ and John
Penman - vocals.
We played social clubs,
functions and dances around Ayrshire & Glasgow and as far as Workington in Cumbria.
We played pop
music and traditional stuff for weddings.
This band was Contrast. Left to Right:
Davy Murray drums; Albert sax/ clarinet; Ronny White guitar; Ian McNair
Muirkirk,Kilmarnock,Cumnock and Mauchline.
Photo taken at the back of Hurlford club 1974 by our roadie
We played social clubs and local dances.We did the
Ibrox club regularly.
They had close circuit TV there and you could see yourself on TV like Top of the Pops.
We had the pleasure of having Ricky Barnes in
the band Contrast at one time. What a sax
player he was!
In the early 60s he was a big name in Glasgow with 'Ricky Barnes All
He had just returned from
Germany where he had .been the manager at the Star club in Hamburg.
just had to mention any star of the day and he had known, and could tell good stories about, them in
Hamburg including John Lennon, Garry Glitter and Richie
Contrast had many line-up changes over
the years and below is a pic of one from the late '70s - long
after our Ian had moved on.
Sent in by their then drummer, Kerr Strickland.
Ian McEwan - Ronnie White - John Waugh - Kerr Strickland.
Kerr tells us: I played drums with contrast for 5 years or so and we went through lots
We played the Ayrshire/Glasgow circuit doing clubs and
functions most nights of the week and Ronnie with his many contacts
even got us a gig aboard
the Waverley steamer. We did a lot of work
down in Newcastle/Workington/Preston area using the agency
Promotions getting to play the clubs, Nightclubs, Tiffany`s Ballroom
Our highlight gig down south was support band for the Tremeloes
and what a great bunch of guys they were.
The big yellow van we
traveled around in had an amazingly loud alarm system in it which we
used at night sometimes to give other motorists
a fright by turning it
on, opening the sliding side door and overtaking them. Had many happy
memories with them.
Ian was from Patna; Ronnie & Kerr from Auchinleck and John from Bellsbank.
Now back to Ian McNair
The New Coasters 1975,taken at Muirkirk club.We played a residency there.
L to R : Graham Willson guitar /vocals. Sam Findlay drums. Jeff Tomkinson
( Ronny Whites cousin ) guitar/vocals, Ian McNair bass
We played pop songs of the day and old favourites of the social clubs.This was my last band in Scotland.
Between 1972-73 I played I played with the great Tommy
Truesdale for a year and a bit - no pics tho.
We made a record at Harry Mangolis' Glasgow
recording studio.We did a about 8 songs but they messed up the mixing.
An EPs worth was all that was left: Running Bear, Albatross, Sweet Little Rock and
Roller and Red Red Wine.
On the takes were: Tommy; Willy Smith from Whitletts on sax; Colin Sinclair - drums; Jimmy
Hastings - organ; Eric -guitar; me on bass plus Jimmy Coskar- piano.
Jimmy was the resident pianist at the Darlington Hotel in
Ayr. He also worked at Scottish Aviation Ltd (SAL) at Prestwick
where I was employed as well.
What a player he was and I could see why Tommy wanted his input on the session.
We were told to take a
packed lunch as it would be a long day - one of the guy's packed lunch consisted of 6 cans of McEwans Export.
My ambition was to
play on a record and the Red Red Wine track turned out really great. I've
still got the recording on tape.
The EPs were sold at the Record and Card Centre in Ayr.
I moved to Kingston outside London in early 1976 to work in the aircraft industry there.
I joined a local band called 'Planet' and played
with them for years - Garry and Bob - guitars, Ray - drums, Dennis -
vocals and me on
We played all the local social clubs in Middlesex and up to Hatfield. Good old days - and I married
the singer's sister in law!
I live in Hayling
Island on the south coast now and still keep my hand in by going down to the jam night
at the local pub.