Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Johnny Kidd !

I'm so restless

Johnny Kid (born Frederick Albert Heath in Willesdon, London, on 23 November 1935) had formed his first band, a skiffle group called the Five Nutters, in 1957. They quickly outgrew their skiffle roots and, after a short period fronting the Fred Heath Combo, he joined Alan Caddy (guitar), Tony Docherty (rhythm guitar), and Ken McKay (drums), in early 1958 in an outfit that was dubbed Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, who were spotted by an EMI Records representative and signed to the label.
The group cut their first record, the outstanding Please Don't Touch, in April 1959, highlighted by Heath's menacing vocals, which reached number 26 on the British charts. The group's subsequent records were an uneven mix of solid R&B-based rock juxtaposed with awkwardly covered standards.
Unfortunately, like every other British label of the era, EMI was never sure how best to deal with rock & roll success, and the group was made to record any amount of dross in the wake of this success, amid some superb follow-up numbers. Several membership changes followed, most notably the addition of Mick Green on lead guitar. The group was among the finest rock combos of the early '60s, with a wild stage act that had them playing in pirate regalia, but it never had enough consistent chart success to put it back in the top ranks of Britain's rock hierarchy, though they received a great deal of respect from the younger generation of rock & rollers.
Johnny Kid was killed in a car crash on October 7, 1966.

Johnny Kidd And The Pirates :
* Restless *
* Please Don't Touch *
* Doctor Feelgood *


Anonymous Dewi Fraunhofer said...

Great post but I can't believe you didn't mention "Shaking All Over" which together with "Move It" by Cliff Richard and "Brand New Cadillac" by Vince Taylor & His Playboys, make up the holy trinity of first generation British Rock n Roll.

Great web site though, keep up the good work Rev.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:22 AM  
Blogger jon said...

Thanks Rev, I found Dr Feelgood in a charity shop the other week. Its a B side to something i can't remember, but its a killer version. The Pirates carried on without Johnny Kidd for years. they were playing around London in the mid/late seventies I think. And rated as a great live act then. Dunno if it was the original members etc. . .

9:39 PM  
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7:45 AM  
Blogger Reverend Frost said...

Hey thanks good folks!
Dewi, the choice was tough between 'Shaking All Over' And 'Restless', but hey, I'm a restless guy after all. Aah, Cliff Bloody Richard !
Jon ol'chap, it's the b-side of Always And Ever right?
And yes, I like Spam.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dewi Fraunhofer.Spot on.The holy trinity.
C'mon Rev..Move it is a great record..so is Cliff's Mean streak
Didn't Motorhead/Girlschool have a hit with Please don't touch

6:04 PM  
Blogger John said...

The Pirates are still playing live - have a look at You Tube. One line-up change as the drummer had some heart trouble recently. Still playing hard and in your face R&B. I saw them in the early 80's and they blew me and everybody else away that night - the only other band that's had that impact on me was Dr Feelgood when they were at full strength - check out "Roxette" and "Back in the night".

11:22 AM  

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