BRAVO! That ranks amongst the top 5 most truthful articles I have ever read
in meekdom. Keep it up and if I can offer any help just e.mail me.
From: Richard Havers <richard.havers@...
Sent: March 30, 2000 5:43:57 PM GMT
Subject: [joemeek] Moontrekkers
Another in the occasional series of Joe related biogs. from our
forthcoming book. As always hints, comments and most of all criticism
Weeks on Chart 1
Formed around '60 by Hornsey schoolboys, Pete Knight, clavoline;
Jimmy Raither, rhythm guitar; Gary Le Port, lead guitar; Peter
Johnson, bass; Tony White, drums, and singer Robert Farrant. The
North London outfit soon lost Farrant who went solo reemerging under
the name of Bobby Shafto. His replacement was a scruffy-haired
semi-beatnik whose audition comprised Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley
and Gene Vincent songs; his name was Rod Stewart. While appearing as
Rod Stewart & The Moontrekkers they were seen by record producer Joe
Meek at a rehearsal in Hornsey. Meek suggested that if they came up
with some original material he would record it, taking Meek at his
word they put some instrumentals together. Le Port's tune, Night Of
The Vampires was favoured by the legendary producer as it had great
potential for the use of echo and effects that he loved to experiment
with. Despite a separate audition he found that he could not use Rod
Stewart who soon drifted apart from the rest of the group. Night of
the Vampires was released as a single and made No.50 for just one
week in '61. It gives the band the distinction of being one of the
least successful hit making acts of the decade.
The follow-up, There's Something At The Bottom Of The Well, failed to
chart and not long after Le Port, Johnson and White all left, to be
replaced by Bob Frost on bass and Derek Dampier on drums. The group
continued as a four piece and released their third and final single,
Moondust. On various occasions pianist Nicky Hopkins (b.24.2.44)
deputised for Peter Knight, before he became a top session player
working with The Rolling Stones and The Steve Miller Band amongst
many others, in '69 he joined Quicksilver Messenger Service.
Le Port meanwhile formed the Five Dimensions and brought in Rod
Stewart on vocals and toured Scotland. The agent who organised the
tour insisted on one of the singers on his books, Jimmy Powell,
fronting the group. This led to an inevitable clash between Powell
and Stewart, it resulted in Stewart leaving and forming an alliance
with a singer who often sat in with the Dimensions, Long John Baldry.
Some years later, after singing with Steampacket, Shotgun Express and
Jeff Beck Stewart became one of the world's most successful singers.
The late 80's saw Le Port playing with semi-pro band, Cut Glass, and
a reunion of The Moontrekkers when they played their first gig
together for 27 years on October 30th '89 at London Landsdowne
Studios at a launch party for a book on producer Joe Meek.
Parlophone R 4814 Night of the Vampire/Melodie D'Amour
Parlophone R 4886 There's Something at the Bottom of the Well
Decca F 11714 Moondust/The Bogey Man 1963
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