Rockingscots is a website dedicated to Scottish beat groups and rock bands of the '60s and '70s. Visit the Rockingscots homepage for more groups or to e-mail us.
OFFICIAL WEBSITE FOR THE REFORMED POETS- NEWS; HISTORY; DVD; CDS
HUME PATON RIP
On Saturday April 30 in Grenada, Hume Paton, original lead guitarist of The Poets, died from a heart attack. Born October 6 1945, Paton, alongside vocalist George Gallacher and rhythm guitarist Tony Myles, formed part of the Glasgow group’s songwriting team. As their sound began to coalesce through the early dawning of the beat boom, their originality soon became apparent. Shimmering acoustic twelve-string and short inventive runs became the guitarist’s speciality, heavily informing a brace of exceptional discs made between 1964-66. The best of these, including the breathtaking That’s The Way It’s Got To Be, from February ’65, involved producer / manager Andrew ‘Loog’ Oldham. Signing them first to Decca in 1964, Oldham then asked them to be part of his Immediate label the following year.
That distinctive twelve-string approach lent The Poets records a disquieting edge, sufficiently different from many other groups operating on the beat scene. Some of Paton’s most effective fingerwork was displayed on I’ll Cry With The Moon, I Love Her Still and Some Things I Can’t Forget, imaginative B sides that themselves should’ve been realised as potential hits. Yet apart from a late ‘64 Top Thirty placing with the baroque-beat, atmospheric debut Now We’re Thru’, chart success eluded them. However, with the passing of time they have become revered.
Hume Paton, the last original Poet to leave, during 1967, swapped gigs for the retail business his father owned, then launched the successful Bespoke Kitchens design and supply company. “Whilst I was sad when John died (Dawson – bass player) and more so when I lost Alan (Weir – original drummer who died last year) who was a close personal friend, it’s a deeper loss I feel due to Hume dying,” reveals Tony Myles. “Hume was a true one off indeed”, adds George Gallacher, “a highly intelligent and creative individual, always full of energy and always with a smile on his face. He will be greatly missed.”
What they did release was a single (Heyla Hola/Fun Buggy) to promote Strike Cola made by Barrs of Irn-Bru fame. Hogg reckons that the line-up which made this disc was led by Dougie Henderson and isn't sure who else is on the tracks. Well we've seen the prints from the photo shoot for the promo and it was Dougie Henderson, Hugh Nicholson, Martin & Davie Nicholson (Hugh's brother from the Mob) who replaced Ian McMillan when he joined Cody. We also remember seeing the TV advert lots of times on STV. It showed the band recording in the studio (leading to much speculation that an LP might be on the way but they were probably actually just recording this single). There were also clips of the band larking about in a dune-buggy in a reference to the B-side. if Henderson was on it then the line-up is
Hugh Nicholson then went off to replace Junior Cambell in the Marmalade and the band brought in Hugh Burns (now a noted session player). Charlie Smith from the Dream Police replaced Dougie Henderson when he joined his mate in the Marmalade (Hugh having instigated the outing of Alan Whitehead according to info on the Marmalade's Decca Years CD notes). Then Davie Nicholson left to lead his own band, imaginatively called 'Nicholson' - or 'Nickelson' on the label of the single below. Joe Breen came in from the disbanded Dream Police to take on bass duties. The only mention of Johnny Martin that we have spotted from thereafter is a thank you to someone of that name on the 1975 Nazareth album, 'Hair of the Dog', but not in a playing capacity apparently. However, Matt Nicholson tells us that Johnny later worked with Yes then Vangelis and was still with him (2001) he believed. Good luck to you anyway Johnny. He was great when they did the Clapping Song - 3,6,9, the goose drank wine etc.. Perhaps, later on, we'll look a bit more at the changes of personnel from '71 to when the band, by then called Chapter 22, wound up a few years later. Thanks to Matt for the time and info.
Pics of a 'Nickelson' demo single by David 'icholson's post Poet's band.. Thanks to Kev Head for this find.
No idea if it was ever generally released.
Poets' Singles Discography.
Thanks to RC78. Now we're thru/There are some - Decca F11995 -
That's the way its got to be/I'll cry with the moon - Decca F12074 - (2/65)
I am so blue/I love her still - Decca F F12195 - (7/65)
Call again/Some things I can't forget - Immediate IM006 - (10/65)
Baby don't do it/I'll come home - ImmediateIM024 - (1/66)
Wooden spoon/In your tower - Decca F12569 - (2/67)
Heyla Hola/Fun Buggy - Strike Cola - (1970/71)
POETS COMPILATIONS ON LP & CD
The Poets - Immediate Records Inc. but
probably a bootleg - (1995)
Track list : Now we're thru / There are some / That's the way its got to be / I'll cry with the moon / I am so blue / I love her still / *I'll keep my pride / *It's so different now / Call again / Some things I can't forget / Baby don't you do it / I'll come home / Wooden spoon / In your tower
This altruistic bootleg saw the light of day mainly thanks to Lenny Helsing - a major contributor to Rockingscots.. Big thick US style cardboard sleeve and heavyweight vinyl. Great sleevenotes and lots of previously unseen (to us) pictures. A bit darkly photocopied and why give the band purple fleshtones?? Still it would be curmugeonly to complain seeing as it puts together all the major label singles plus two (*) previously unreleased acetates. The 'Baby don't you do it' track is a slightly longer and different titled version of the released single.
In your Tower CD - Strike 901
All the titles on the LP above plus the 'Baby don't you do it' A-side, The Strike Cola pairing, an early version of Blue's 'Someone' and 'Dawn' which is the Pathfinders with the original Poets vocalist George Gallagher singing.
The gem on this CD though is "Never thought she would" which is a gorgeously slow melancholy ballad with a basic piano/drums/vocal arrangement that would have graced Blue's first album. We reckon then, though there are no clues in the sleeve notes, that the Nicholson/MacMillan line up knocked out this little beauty of a song. This CD was at most only semi official though it was/is widely available through specialist shops.
Excellent sleeve notes by Miss Lucy Nation, an obvious nom-de-plume, and more
previously unseen pics including one (see black and white pic far above) of a very
young Macmillan (far left) Dig those sideboards on Frazer Watson (third from
left) - to compensate for prematurely thinning on top? Front cover shows the
group outside Burn's Cottage in Ayrshire where the great poet and sartorial style guru
was born. Terrific stuff and well worth your £15.
Poets on the Radio
We recall the Poets doing one Radio One Club show. A lunchtime programme from a club in different towns featuring a local band doing perhaps three numbers each time. We only recall them doing a version of Nicholson's 'Bad Weather, which resurfaced on Marmalade's 'Songs' album. What else did they do and did anyone tape the show?
Oh, just one more pic of a Poets single - I am so BLUE!!!! Clairvoyant these boys or what???