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.
See below for details of two band tracks on new psyche compilation CD
First known as the Pathfinders around '65, this
Glasgow band briefly changed their name to Jason's Flock
in 66-67, reverted back to the old name and were re-branded as
after moving to London in the late '60s. Back in Scotland there was a
further name change to Cody before the remaining members reinvented
themselves as Blue. Original line up - Timi Donald (drums),
Neil McCormick (guitar), Ronnie Leahy (organ), Ian
Clews (vocals) and Colin Morrison (bass). The group's act has
been called a 'soul jukebox' and an idea of their set in the mid '60s can be got
from Lenny Toshack's contribution in the Rockingscots page '1960s Scene Recalled'. Thanks to Norrie G and Nigel Lees for extra info and for correcting a great
many errors throughout. Also to Lenny Toshack and Frank Murphy for some of the additional pics from 242
Above left: an absolutely fantastic shot of Timi Donald in action at a 1967 Radio Scotland Clan Ball at what was the Locarno in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow
while the band were known as Jason's Flock. Courtesty of Jim McAlswane as is the one on the right.
Contrary to the info on the above 1967 picture the man in the hat is actually Colin Morrison, bass playerwith the Pathfinders.
There were a few bands in the UK called the
1965. We have singles by two of them. This one above
is often said
to be by our boys
but is actually the work of a Birkenhead band as confirmed by their drummer- Tony Aldridge. Tony tells us that 'Don't You Believe It/Castle Of Love'
was recorded at Abbey Road and featured on 'Juke Box Jury'. There was also a previous single on Decca - 'I Love You Caroline/Something I Can Always Do'
This Pathfinders split in 1966 - cheers Tony.
Don't You Believe it is very Merseybeat-ish and typical of 1965. Castle of Love: very Beatles influenced and the better of the two.
l-r: Timi Donald, Neil McCormick, Ronnie Leahy, Colin
Morrison, Ian Clews.
Some good clobber on view - like the suede Levi style jacket on Mr Morrison.
The band did cut some demos in the mid 1960s
however. Acetates of
a 1967 recording "On bench number three in Waterloo Station"
exist and Nigel Lees reckons
this track and one called Upside Down Inside Out' that also sounds remarkably like the Pathfinders appeared on Tenth Planet's Syde Tryps Five comp in the '90s ,credited to 'Tropical Fish'. Anyway, 'Waterloo Station' was introduced to the band by one Eric Woolfson, a London based Glaswegian who also came up with the Jason's Flock name.
Though described as a load of rubbish we'd still like to hear it - a 17 year old Peter Frampton replaced Neil McCormick for the session.
In '68 with Frazer Watson now on guitar more demos were recorded. 'Pumpkin
Lantern' a bit of light psychedelia with lyrical bullshit (nothing
wrong with that) about
painters, poets, cloaks, morning suns etc but well structured and the drums and
guitars do cut through the flutes and strings to good effect here and
there. Then, a cover of the Bee Gees 'To Love Somebody' - not a bad stab
taken at a fair pace with the keyboards and drums managing to stop the powerful
vocal being overcome by the heavy horn accompaniment - slight shame about the flute used for the song's well known lick.
Presumably it was a management
push for success that drove the band to record these
tracks in a complete departure from the music they were so excellent
Strange then that the offer of Loving Things and later on, Obladioblada were tuned down.
The Marmalade however could spot a hit song when they heard it - they snapped up both.
Above is again a Jim McA. discovered pic This time of the Flock's
Clewsy in action. Did he borrow that shirt off the drummer?
Neil McCormack is just visible far right. Right pics: quick draw Clews then a pensive Cludgie.
Below - Clewsy again - note the trademark long nails.
Frazer Watson from the Poets replaced Neil McCormick in later '67 when the latter became the manager - see newspaper story at end. In 1968 the band moved to London at the encouragement of Tony Meehan - to be moulded for stardom. In the opinion of some this led to Scotland's most commercially appealing live band of the time being made to play a style of music they were not happy with. Meehan did however get the band their recording deal with Apple so the new direction got off to what would seem to have been a very promising start indeed. Late '68 also brought about a change of name to White Trash -suggested by Richard Di Lello - Apple's American 'house hippie'. His book on the Apple Years - The Longest Cocktail Party - remains a great 'must' read.
The band also became the sometime backing band for the mega-afro-ed Marsha
Hunt It's hard not to conclude that this was what inspired Di Lello in
the choice of name. Who could forget her doing 'Walk on Gilded Splinters' on Top of the Pops in May
1969 - that
suede bra thing she just about wore. We
can't recall whether the boys were backing her on the show or not. We only had
eyes for her. According to guitarist Frazer Watson they should have been on the bill of the
‘Stones in the Park’ gig on July 5th 1969- Marsha was Mick
Jagger’s girlfriend at the time - but she pulled out or was pushed off at the last minute. Despite
being told that working with Hunt would be good for their career, in the event they
were never more than a backing band.
See the experiences of others in that position with Hunt via the links below.
This pic of Marsh was found accompanying a feature on her in an Inter City train magazine in the late .90s..
Now it's often said - e.g. Hogg, B.,1993, The History of Scottish Rock and Roll, (London), p.90 - that the band supported Marsha at the 1969 Isle of White festival (30 & 31 August 1969) playing to a crowd of half a million. However, this is not the case. She used a pick up band for that gig. Ged Peck, who had a fair old track record in rock n roll wrote to tell us so and correct that error - he said that he would know since he was in the band! Ged has since passd and his entertaining web article on the event and rehearsals are no long available but other sites document his undoubted claim. e.g. http://musiciansolympus.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/gedpeck-guitar.html
We recall seeing Ged's subsequent band, Warhorse ar the Bobby Jones in Ayr.
As said, Tony Meehan 's connections inside Apple got two singles out on the Beatles' label. First up (Jan '69) was the awesome ‘Road to Nowhere’ with its highs, lows and Leahy’s organ solo workout. (the cover of the Portuguese edition is shown above) Its B-side is the brilliant ‘Illusions’ written by Hughie Nicholson of the Poets. Most reckonthat if it had been the A-side the band might have had a better chance of a hit. Anyway it saw no chart action. It is said that some controversy with the BBC led to the band dropping the 'White' from their name. Certainly the "White" was dropped because it was felt that music from anyone with that name would not be played on American radio or T.V. because of the racial connotations. The band never liked that name anyway apparently. Some later runs of 'Nowhere' were credited just to - 'Trash'. Left to right on the Portuguese cover photo above are : Timi Donald (drums), Frazer Watson (guitar), Ronnie Leahy (organ), Ian Clews (vocals) and Colin Morrison (bass).
Ad pic above left from Jim Mc. Ad pic right from Jimf.
The second single (Apple 17) was a cover of the Beatles - ‘Golden
Slumbers/Carry that Weight’ backed by the band composed 'Trashcan' We used to think Trashcan was
a wee bit
tedious but its getting far more acceptable after 30 years or so. This
single did hit the lower regions of the charts - see the Guinness Book of Hit
Singles - number 35 on 25 October 1969.
Colin Morrison left before the recording of Golden Slumbers and does not appear on the covers below, a Portuguese edition (clockwise from top - Leahy, Donald, Clews, Watson) and a Thai (or some such) EP of 3/4 of the two singles below (l-r Leahy, Donald, Watson, Clews). Quality contribution from Lenny Toshak that one. Seems Morrison's reason for leaving was mainly due to growing disillusionment - he had just enough of broken promises and lack of success. He opened a tailoring business in Glasgow before moving to Fife.
Indeed, the whole band were getting increasingly fed up with their lack of progress at Apple. To get money released for promotion, recording etc, the unanimous agreement of all the fab four was necessary. George - who brought the group into Apple - pushed for funds. Ringo agreed to anything but the other two would ask, "Does Paul agree?" or "Does John agree?" Whatever the reply, the opposite view would be taken. Nothing could get done.
After the Apple promises fizzled out the band soldiered on as a quartet
- then Watson quit. According to our late mates Tom Jones (TJ the
DJ from Ayr's Radio Westsound) and Blec ('Pure Greed' roadie), Frazer quit live
on stage in a Glasgow club - in dramatic fashion - chucking his guitar down and shouting, "Ah F**k
it"!. He probably did it regularly!
Noddy McKenzie from Inverness and Edinburgh bands duly replaced him.
Watson went off to form Berserk Crocodiles with Hamish Stewart and Matt Irvine from Dream Police and Wullie Munro from Tear Gas.
Some more pics and clips before a few words on Cody
Above - a pic that appears in Scottish rock books but this one from a newspaper - thanks Stuart Prentice
Thanks to Bob Lloyd for the promo pic above.
The article below
shows just what comings and goings there were between Scottish groups in the mid
60s. Doubtless it was and remains the same everywhere.
Thanks for contributing this and other pics to Jim McAlwane who runs http://www.marmalade-skies.co.uk Well worth a look for all things from the psychedelic era.
Just to round off - we were sent this pic below of a
Trash single by Mark Bishop
But before anyone gets excited - like the Pathies one above - it is by another band -so do watch out!
And here's a pic sleeve featuring the Dutch lads that made it.
Trash had no
further tracks in the can apparently athough there were rumours for a
Hmmmm - see Watson's comment in an article above that 'Lovin Things'
was recorded - just not released. With no prolific songwriters in the
band they were always going to struggle.
But sometime in 1970, Ian McMillan was recruited from the Poets making them a 5 piece again.and the band soon shook off a name they never liked and became Cody.
Down our way back then - Ayrshire, Scotland - Cody played at least two gigs - the Bobby Jones ballroom in Ayr and at Cumnock Town Hall. Trash were banned from the Bobby Jones for previous misdemeanors but they got back in under the new name. The drummer would wander on stage and start tapping up. Then the bass player would come on and plonk around until he was in the groove. Then the keyboards and guitar player would come in before the singer appeared. You thought they were all just tuning up …and then…' Woo ooh, I bet you wonder how I knew...' and the gig was underway with Creedence Clearwater's version of 'I heard it through the Grapevine'.
Cody released one single, 'I
belong with you' c/w 'Wanna make you Happy'. The writer of the
latter - 'Ming' must be a nom de plume - Meehan maybe?
We added these pics when Kev Head managed to buy a copy in 2017. Cheers Kev.
Ronnie Leahy left in '71 for Stone the Crows.
The Kinema Ballroom website in their profile of the band says, "their final demise was in early 1973'.
This might or might not be accurate but it is attractive. We think Mr McKenzie left maybe around Sept '72 and
Hugh Nicholson took the opportunity to jump ship from the Marmalade to join up again with his old Poets' mate Ian McMillan to help out.
According to the programme for the Focus/Blue tour of May 1974, "Hugh joined Ian and Timmy in White Trash now renamed Cody.
Dissatisfied with Cody's policy the three formed Blue."
This ties with other info we've come across that, musical and contractual differences set in, Clewsy left and that was it for Cody.
Blue's first single came out in May 1973.
Ian Clews seems to have quit the music scene after a period in London up to 1976.
We have had recent reliable reports to support the usual book sources that he has been involved in a horse ranch in California ever since then.
He always wanted to be a cowboy apparently (see gunslinger photo above). We wish him well - his singing brought pleasure to so many.