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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 Trash/White Trash after moving to London in the late '60s. 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 Rockingscots' '1960s Scene Recalled' page. 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 magazine.!
Above - 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 below.
Contrary to the credit on the above 1967 picture the man in the hat is actually Colin Morrison - bass player with Jason's Flock etc.
There were a few bands in the UK called the Pathfinders around 1965. We have singles by two of them. This one 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" still 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.
Both these numbers are worth having and are available on the 2005 compilation 'Alphabeat' along with other commendable psyche tracks. VINYL cat no. TSLP 001; CD cat no. TSCD 001, Running Time just over 49 minutes. LPs have 12 page full colour booklet, CD 24 pages. Limited edition LP £13.49 – post within UK £2.00. CD £12.99 – post within UK £0.90. Post worldwide available. Available in most specialist shops or from firstname.lastname@example.org
Presumably it was a desparation for success that drove the band to record these tracks in a complete departure from the music they were so excellent at. Strange then that the band turned down the offer of Loving Things and later on, Obladioblada. 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.
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.
We recall seeing Ged's subsequent band, Warhorse ar the Bobby Jones in Ayr.
The pic of Hunt above was found accompanying a feature
Hunt in an Inter City train magazine.
(on the way back from a victory by the mighty whites of Fulham FC over Port Vale as it goes - just had to get that in).
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 from Jim Mc. Ad pic below 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 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. He's still about today - most recently in the excellently named 'Blues Poets'.
Around 1970-71, Ian McMillan was recruited from the Poets and the group renamed themselves Cody - see Blue pages. Trash left no further tracks in the can apparently athough there were rumours for a while. With no songwriters in the band they were always going to struggle. After Cody broke up in late 72 early 73, 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.
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.