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Post by Andrew on 5th May 2015, 10:44 am

This page has been set-up to respect the Brisbane musicians that have departed us.

Jim Brelsford (lead player)

ex-Bay City Union

The original lead player of the February ’66 edition, replaced by Phil Manning.

Bobby Dean (Singer, harmonica, rhythm player)


ex-Dominoes I, ex-Pacifics, ex-Worried Minds.

Bobby Voltz (his real name) was the vocalists for the first version of The Dominoes, one of the three big rock’n’roll groups of late 1950s Brisbane.

Came  into The Pacifics as the vocalists c. May ’64.  Bobby cut two discs for The Pacifics in December 1964 and April/May ’65 (went unreleased), his distinctive vocals a feature, and his strong songwriting abilty too – heck, he wrote both sides of the 45!  The band broke up in c.May 1965, and he then joined three piece Worried Minds outfit later in 1965.  They cut one 45 at Soundtrack Studios, again with with Dean providing both tracks, a third went unreleased.  Went nowhere, and left not long afterwards around April 1966.  Went to Sydney for a job.  Sadly passed away in the 1975.

Brian “Sweet” Foley (Singer)

??-22 September 1968

“He would have become a great blues singer he was a Matt Taylor before Matt.” – Paul Anderson (original guitar player, ex-Capitol Show Band)

Mike Furber (Singer)

28 September 1948 in London, UK – 10 May 1973 in Kings Cross

ex-The Bowery Boys.

Mister Furber discovered The Boys (band’s first name) on a suburban train in Brisbane.  He got the lead singer’s spot after impressing the band members.  Ivan Dayman used Furber as a solo little lost boy to perfection, and to the detriment of other members of the band.  The group was successful.  But also caused the band to splinter soon after their debut LP was released.  Furber’s solo career was mixed, and so too was his acting career.  Mike was conscripted into the army for two years.  Sadly he did not live to see his 25th birthday, with the general consensus of people believing that his life was terminated due to getting in with the wrong crowd.

Michael “Mick” Hadley (Singer, harmonica, maracas, guitar)

28th December 1942 in Buckinghamshire, UK – 27th October 2012

Michael Hadley was born in Buckinghamshire, U.K. on December 28, 1942.

He grew up as a drummer in a dixieland band, but didn’t take up singing until his arrival in Australia.

In the same month and year another famed blues yelper, Paul Butterfield was brought in by stork, to the U.S of A. Paul was the singer and harp player, for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

Who would have known that both these singers would record “Chicago”?

Mick witnessed and breathed the early British R&B scene before setting out for Australia. It was during these younger years that his ears (Mick) sonar-blipped into Little Richard’s “Rip It Up” in late ‘56, at the tender age of 13-14.

With the early British Blues scene kicking in 1960-61, Mick was able to see early stalwarts such as Alexis Korner, Jack Bruce, Cyril Davies, “Long” John Baldry, Graham Bond, Ginger Baker and an early incarnation of the 1962 Rolling Stones, i.e. Jagger, Richards and Jones with Stewart and Dick Taylor (proto-Pretty Things) on bass billed as “the Rollin’ Stones”.

It would be later in Australia, that Mick, with the Purple Hearts would record, “Long Legged Baby”, after hearing Bond’s inspired version from the U.K. in the early ‘60s.

Mick arrived in Oz on December 19, 1962, aged just 19 – a £10 pom – the best investment that Mick ever made (Briz thinks so, anyway!).
Mick’s devotion and enthusiasm to R&B would come in the ultimate reward in Brisbane, when the Purple Hearts (as The Impacts – the name change didn’t happen till mid-March!) supported the Stones at City Hall on Jan 26, 1965.

Mick went on to play thousands of gigs and passed on, just short of 50 years in Australia in the early hours of Saturday, October 27, 2012. The last gig at the Tempo Hotel on September 16, 2012 was as a fundraiser, Mick used his remaining energy and self-focus to put on a memorable farwell – in essence he sang his heart out!

We shall now try to give a summary of his of his extraordinary R&B journey.

Mr Hadley first joined the Impacts in March 1963, replacing Steve as the new lead singer. Soon after Barry Lyde joined them from the Shadows’ sounding Stilettos, after two years – Barry Lyde, Bob Dames, Red Redmond, Paul Steffan and Mick Hadley became the Purple Hearts in March 1965. Mr Barry Lyde was a hot guitarist wanting to play some dirty R&B and the other members of the band were for it too, playing at the Primitif, from March to October 1965, than firstly Paul Steffan was replaced by Glenn Wheatley, then by Freddy Pickard, all in the space of the month of August! Red Redmond was involved in a car accident which necessitated him being replaced by Tony Cahill. It was from there the ‘Hearts played, at Red Redmond’s Red Orb Discotheque in the suburb of Fortitude Valley in the latter part of 1966.

The Purple Hearts would perform for just on two years under that moniker.
After recording two Soundtrack labelled demos, with four raunchy covers. The ‘Hearts recorded five additional singles on the Sunshine imprint. All are covers, all are deemed worthy maximumR&B stompers!
They (the Purple Hearts) announced in January 1967 that the group was disbanding due to musical differences, after residing in Melbourne for around one year.

After the band’s demise in March 1967, Mick departed overseas to the U.K. to see his family for the first time in nearly five years.
Barry Lyde (Lobby Loyde) joined the Wild Cherries in Melbourne. Bob (Dames) joined Black Cat Circle in Brisbane, and Tony Cahill was asked to join the Easybeats while he was in England on a holiday.

Mick returned to Australia in early 1968, and formed the Virgil Brothers, but left after some practice sessions, citing that their musical style wasn’t for him.

After finding his way back to Brisbane he joined established band, the Coloured Balls, with ex-Purple Hearts member Bob Dames (b), Robbie van Delft (l.g, ex-Mike Furber and the Bowery Boys), Neville Peard (d,ex-Mike Furber and the Bowery Boys) replaced eventually by Peter Miles (ex-Bay City Union) and Mick “Sam” Shannon (l.v, ex-Nazzr Blues Band).

What a Brisbane institution they were till March 1970, with their final show at Sound Machine, supporting Doug Parkinson In Focus – a great farewell at the time.

Years later old ‘Heart Lobby Loyde would borrow the name “Coloured Balls”. and start up again in Melbourne in March ‘72, this group was totally unrelated to the Brisbane moniker.

In a blurb piece on the Purple Hearts from 1966, Mick who was 23 at the time, claims to like girls and his ambition was to have R&B accepted in Australia.
What with three wifes (blondes) in his life and the acceptance of R&B, all of Mick’s dreams had come true it seemed.
Mick started a new band in 1970 called Leroy – there was a few variations over the next four to five years, with Terry Eaves (bass) continuing to have a long musical association.

Mick always had a day job, but was absorbed in r&B and remained in Brisbane to allow bands to grow musically over the years, and to be near his beloved Gold Coast.

“If it feels good, say yeah”, was a quote of Mick’s, as was relayed by his wife, Lyn, at his wake at the Jubilee Hotel.
It is possible Mick played 4000 gigs in his time, as he really did want R&B accepted in Oz. Other notable bands he fronted, were, the Last Shout, the Shakers, Atomic Boogie Band and the Midnight Blues Band.

Mick had a reunion with the Purple Hearts in December 2005, and again in June 2006, with all the members (except Tony Cahill – Keith Megson filled the spot admirably/and support guitarist Craig Claxton added).
Mick was, despite the live music scene, a quiet, affable and humble, and ready to offer advice to any new players. He certainly spent his energy onstage (all 6’ 1” of him!).

Mick loved the Gold Coast and lived there in later years. He was a lifesaver at Broadbeach S.L.S.C. He did his training, but loathed laps of the pool. His mates called him, “Micky No More”, when he told them he loathed the laps, when testing his fitness levels.
Mick left a beautiful wife Lyn. They married in 2004. A wonderful memorial was held at the Jubilee in November 2012. Lynn read out fond emails from Peter Miles (U.K.) and Tony Cahill (U.S.A) – both drummers in Mick’s bands.

Some musicians (of many) who came to play and reminisce at the Jubilee are Glen Muirhead, Keith Megson, Terry Eaves, Paul Doo, Stevie “Ray” Perry, Tim Gaze, Lil ‘Fi, Barry Linnan, Ewen McKenzie, Warren Wilesmith, Terry Hannigan, Les Creighton, Paul Fox, Craig Claxton and Tony Byrne.

Mick who had preached R&B in Oz for nearly 50 years, was as Lyn said, “A special human being!” (ED – Thanks to David Cox for writing this piece)

Eric Hambleton (Rhythm player)

22nd May 1943 – 14th September 2012

ex-Johnny Gray and the G-Men

Eric was the rhythm player in the original G-Men with Johnny Gray. (ED – Thanks to David Hambleton for the births and deceased dates for Eric)

Harold “Harry” Hambleton (Lead player)

27th June 1944 – 22nd September 2012

ex-Richard Wright and the Vikings, ex-The Probe.

Harry to his friends, was a lead player for the Vikings, playing the Brisbane scene in mid ’60s. This group cut one single on the HMV label, Hey, Baby / Do You See Maria. In my opinion the best version of “Hey, Baby” that I have heard.  Later went to The Probe, where they cut two singles, the earlier one went unreleased (on HMV).  Harry retunred to the Vikings in ?1967. (ED – Thanks to David Hambleton for the births and deceased dates for Harry)

Tony Heathcote (Lead player)

3rd June 1942 in Sheffield, UK – 28th August 2013 in Margate, QLD

ex-Dominoes II (ED – Thanks to Luke Taiapa for providing information)

Barry Lyde (Lead player)

18th May 1941 in Longreach – 21st April 2007 in Box Hill

ex-Devil’s Disciples, ex-Dominoes, ex-Stilettos, ex-Impacts, ex-Purple Hearts, ex-Wild Cherries, ex-Aztecs, ex-Coloured Balls, ex-Rose Tattoo

An extraordinary guitar player, was instrumental in the r’n’b movement of Brisbane in the mid to late ’60s, before joining The Wild Cherries, and Billy Thorpe’s Aztecs in Melbourne.  Cut so mand records I will not begin to list them here, except to say if you want to hear his works than buy the Half-A-Cow’s Benzedrine Beat CD.  His legacy will live on.

Betty McQuade (Singer)

26th August 1941 in Paisley in Scotland – 26th December 2011 in Brisbane

This famed rock’n’roll singer (who sang it like it really was) won a talent quest, and played with JOK and Col Joye at Festival Hall for about five years before moving to Melbourne to be the vocalist for The Thunderbirds in 1960, had a big hit with Loudermilk’s Midnight Bus (the a side was Tobacco Road) on the Astor label in 1961.  Other hits came and Betty returned to Brisbane in 1966 to play at cabarets and night clubs.  Was still doing live shows when a longtime illness took her away to early.

Royce “Baby” Nicholas (Bass player)

ex-Blues Jays, ex Tony Worsley and the Blue Jays, ex-Toni & Royce


Steve Pristash (Bass player)

?1947/8 – 3rd July 2014

ex-Thursday’s Children (ED – Thanks to Lindsay Morrison for information)

John Reid (Bass player)

ex-Planets, ex-Pacifics.

John Reid played in the early rock’n’roll bands of Brisbane’s music scene.  Firstly with The Planets, and then in 1963 with the newly formed instrumental group, The Pacifics.  The band cut three 45s in 1963-64.  What he did after The Pacifics broke up in in March 1965, I’m not sure.

Paul “Bingo” Shannon (Saxophone)

ex-Blue Jays, ex-Tony Worsley and The Blue Jays


Graham Vincent (Lead player)

13th of January 1944-2005?

ex-Ross D Wyllie and The Kodiacs, ex-The Down and Out

Graham Murphy (real name) flew up from Melbourne looking for a band to play in.  Graham found it in The Kodiacs, sometime in late 1964.  Graham was instrumental in The Kodiacs, a teen pop group, becoming a very influential r’n’b group that organised it’s own hall shows.  Ross D. Wyllie left in August ’65, and then Graham became the band leader, changing it’s name, changing it’s image, and more importantly it’s sound.  The group recorded two songs for the 4BC Sound Spectacular in November 1965, eventally becoming the runners-up.  The songs took on a life of their own, finding their way onto the “It’s a kave-in” LP in 1986.  Graham and the band played with The Stones at City Hall in Feb. 1966.  A further three tracks were recorded for a SOUNDTRACK PROD. 45 in March 1966, apparently went unreleased – I’ll Wait and See, I’m Not Talking and Down and Out – all great tracks.  They band changed styles, and became THE ODYSSEY when Graham decided to leave in late 1967.  Graham passed away in 2005/06.

Billy Woodgate (drummer)

?1940?- July 2012

ex-Corvettes, ex-The Pacifics, ex-The Worried Minds

Billy Woodgate was an inspirational drummer, who inspired a generation of Brisbane youths to play music. The Pacifics were Brisbane’s answer to the Atlantics – competing against them in late 1963. The Pacifics recorded three 45s (six originals), the last in my opinion really opened the down to the underground r’n’b movement here in Brisbane. Billy and Lester Vickary formed the Worried Minds in mid ’65, where with the singing ability of Bobby Dean record another three originals at Soundtrack studio, and two of songs were released as a 45.

Will be surely missed!

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