Archive

Wishful Thinking in their own words:
Roy 'Daniel' Spreadborough   Terry New   Brian Allen(der)   Tony Collier
for Dave Morgan's story about "HIROSHIMA" click here

from several e-mails by Roy Spreadborough (February, 2003):
"I acquired your website from Terry (New). I have kept in touch with him all too infrequently over the years but hope to be meeting up with him & Christine this year.
It's strange but you get to a certain time in your life when you start thinking about the things you've done (and haven't). I look back to the time I was singing with the Emeralds & later Wishful Thinking with fondness but then one tends to remember the good times more than the not so good!
I lost contact with Brian & Roger but met Richard & Terry once or twice on separate occasions.
Almost 40 years is a long time to try and make contact but who knows?
Since the group & I parted company I went into IT as a computer operator and progressed to a Telecommunications Manager for Unilever in Crawley. I took early retirement in 2001 and I will be 60 this April. My wife, Helen & I had a son & daughter, Dean & Sara and Dean and his wife Suzanne have a son, Finn, who will be 3 this year and currently reside in Nijmegan, Holland. Sara and partner Lee of 12 years live in Dorking, Surrey.
I haven't sung since 1967,in any capacity (thank God I hear you cry) but sometimes I wish that I had continued to do so albeit as a hobby.
It seems such a long time ago now but I do remember how I chose my 'stage' name. After Daniel Boone & the Renegades disbanded I joined the Emeralds and for a time we were billed as Daniel Boone & the Emeralds, which in hindsight seems a strange stagename. Logic at the time, at least on a local level, suggested that I keep Daniel Boone as a name but the longer we kept it that way the less logical it became so, thankfully, Daniel Boone became no more.
My stage name became an amalgamation of my real Christian name & my old stage name i.e. Roy Daniel.
Are you still awake?Are you still there?
This about wraps up my participation in all things Wishful Thinking and you can tell from my massive contribution they missed me terribly!!!!!
I hope any of the guys from Wishful Thinking who knew me gets in touch with me, I've thrown my hat in the ring,let's see who picks it up!"

"Back in 1965 or 66, memory is failing me, the Brian, Roger, Terry and myself lineup of Wishful Thinking did a two week residency in Germany, (Braunschweig & Hannover)."

"- the lead guitarist of Daniel Boone & the Renegades, Dave Luther, went to New Zealand after the group split and became a singer/ guitarist with a group called Hogsnort Rupert & the Wagon Flagon Band. They played a type of music called 'Jug Band Music' a mix of folk, trad jazz, Mungo Jerry (another British 60's group) and Loving Spoonful style. They were pretty successful in New Zealand and had a few hits out there. Dave became a record producer but I have not heard anything more about him since his mother died. It was she that used to keep me updated about him.
- Sylvia, Brian or Terry may have already told you that Tony Meehan, who produced most of the early Wishful singles, used to be the drummer with Cliff Richard's band, The Shadows and left them to form a duo with the Shadows bass player, Jet Harris. When they split Tony went into producing.
- The song writers of some of the early Wishful singles, Flett & Hill, wrote several of Cliff's songs including his European Song Contest entry, 'Power to All My Friends'.
- Session men used on some of the early WT singles included, Jimmy Page, lead guitarist of Led Zeppelin; Big Jim Sullivan the lead guitarist of Tom Jones' backing group; and Mitch Mitchell the drummer of Jimi Hendrix's Experience. If you have a mint condition single of 'King Lonely the Blue', it could be worth 40 - 50 to an avid collector. I believe it's worth that much because Jimmy Page played on it. So keep an eye out for a pristine copy!!!"

"If my memory serves me correctly Jim Sullivan was a guitarist on 'Don't Listen to Your Friends/ Say Your Mine';
Jimmy Page was a guitarist on 'King Lonely the Blue' and
Mitch Mitchell was drummer/ percussionist on 'Count to Ten'.
To explain, when we first started recording we were reasonable novices in a recording studio so Tony Meehan asked these musicians to come in and play to reduce the studio time which was expensive and that he was paying for. Although we as the Emeralds/ WT played on our records the other musicians were used to augment and reduce studio time. We could then concentrate on the vocal tracks."


from an e-mail by Terry New (Sept. 24th, 2002):
When I joined the group in 1965 they were known as The Emeralds and they had recently released the single "King Lonely The Blue" on Decca Records. I had previously been with a group called The Lively Set who had produced one single on Pye Records "Don't Call My Name". The Emeralds were very popular in Holland at that time and regularly gigged there.
Tony Meehan (ex Shadows drummer) was the recording manager and he changed the group name to Wishful Thinking to coincide with the launch of the new single "Turning Round" which was released in 1965.
After I left the group in 1967 I sold all my equipment got married and had two children with my wife Christine who is pictured in one of the photos Andrew sent to you.
About 18 months ago Christine suggested I should take up the guitar again for a hobby which I did (It was difficult after a 30 year break).
I contacted an old friend in Southampton who was forming a group which he decided to call Wishful. The group just play part-time at local working mens clubs around Southampton.We have a great time playing mostly old sixties stuff.

Well thats about all my history over the past 30 plus years.
from an e-mail by Brian Allender (Sept. 9th, 2002):
Hi I am the original drummer/vocalist with Wishful Thinking. I always used the name Brian Allen, basically because for some reason people have difficulty with Allender even in England.

Having now attained the ripe old age of 61 ( yes I was actually born 18 June 1941) I have retired from my work as a Business Consultant. When I left Wishful Thinking at the end of 1971 I started working for the UK Government, although I did work with the group in the early part of 1972 as my replacement did not sing and much of the material at that time needed 4 voices.

Unfortunately I am not in touch with the other members of the group, other than the original lead guitarist, Richard Taylor, who left the group in 1966.

After I left Wishful Thinking I did continue to play on a part-time basis, forming a 4/5 piece group called Lyndon Glade and in the 80s I formed a 10 piece band called The Brian Allen Band (original eh?) which continued until 1992. This band did make a promotional album released on cassette only.
at http://www.fretmusic.co.uk/liveguide/articles/tonycollier.htm I found the following statement from Tony Collier:

TONY COLLIER. 1943---STILL ALIVE. (JUST)
My first recollections of starting to play in a group were when I was about 15 years old. It was at school, and 4 or 5 of us decided to form a skiffle group because the Lonnie Donegan group were becoming popular. We came up with an original name, "The Bronnie Onegan group". Honest, it's true. I played washboard, which eventually became drums. Actually, that should read drum, because I only had a snare, one brush and one stick. Our first gig was the school concert. I particularly remember that because we painted moustaches and sideburns on our faces to make us look older. What prats !! It must have been really crap.

This was about the time that we formed the "Five Strangers". I think that was when the band comprised of Myself, 'Fred Funnel', Brian Fisher, Roy Bridle and Bill Yaldren. We did some great gigs at that time. One of the best was the Saturday morning "Gaumont Show", but I have to say that all of the gigs were good. Our good friend Len Canham was managing us throughout the early years. I also recall working for the great rival of Len. His name was Reg Calvert. I think deep down that it was friendly rivalry. Some of Reg's acts were good. Remember Danny Storm, Buddy Britain?

We used to travel some ridiculous distances for really crap money. Camberley for 7.00 between 5 of us? Trowbridge for a "tenner"? We must have been stupid but it was fantastic fun.

In early 1961, "Fergie" left the "3 Stars" and joined myself and Funnel and we became just the "Strangers". Later, that great drummer Johnny Watson joined us. He moved to Australia in the late 60s'. I spoke to John just the other day, and he tells me that he is still playing all of the old rock stuff. It was at this time that we toured Norway with Danny Hunter. Later that year, we returned to Norway with Paul Raven who later decided to change his name to Gary Glitter. That was a great tour. Whilst we were in Norway, we made a couple of records which were big hits at the time.

I still have copies and they are really embarrassing to listen to.

One of the funniest thing that happened to us over there was when we had to get into Oslo for a management meeting at 1.30 p.m. Fergie woke us up shouting that it was already 12.30. We hurriedly got dressed and were running for the train when we realised that there wasn't any other traffic around. Guess what? Yup, Fergie had his watch on upside down. It was 6 o clock in the morning. What a t--t. Lovely guy really.

As far as I can remember, it was around this time that we formed "The Barrie James Show". There was Barrie, The Strangers, Patti Knight, and "Gary and Lee". We toured the north on a regular basis doing all of the big gigs with lots of the big names at the time. People such as Billy Fury, Shane Fenton, Billy J. Kramer and too many others to name in this piece. After this particular period, Larry Parnes asked us if we would become Dickie Prides band. We jumped at the chance and had quite a long time with him. Sadly, he died in the late 60s', but I will always think of this as one of the best touring times that we had.

We continued touring, and Pete Jackson joined when Funnel decided that he'd had enough of being on the road. Soon after this time, John Picken joined this line-up and we started playing at the "Railway" at Woolston. I think that this lasted about 2 or 3 years.

I played with Dennis Jay and John Baker over at The Manor House in Bursledon. That was a good gig run by John and Vera Hollowbread. Just Sunday lunchtimes I think!

After that, I went to sea with John Baker. We had a fantastic time. Can you imagine? Traveling the world, cheap booze and fags, passenger accommodation and being paid for it.

I seem to recall coming back after about three years at sea and joining the Pete James band at the Top Rank. I think it was an 18 piece band. Big Tony Averne and myself fronted the band with Janice Ross being the female vocalist.

In 69', I joined "Wishful Thinking". Now that was a great vocal band. We had loads of singles and a couple of albums, but no hits in England. We did have a monster hit with a song called "Hiroshima" in Germany. At the time, it was the second biggest seller ever over there. We did a short tour to promote the single which was terrific.... The tour, not the record!... In hindsight, we should have stayed over there for a long time, because the band were really popular, but because of bad management, we came back and didn't push the band. Wishful comprised of myself, John Franklin, Kevin Finn ( remember Kevin Scott and the Kinsmen?) and Brian Allender. Brian left after a while and a great drummer called Pete Ridley joined. I think that Pete is working in America now. I haven't had any contact since we split from Wishful, so if anyone knows where he is, let me have his address please. Apart from touring Britain extensively, we were always touring Norway, Sweden And Denmark, where the band were a huge success.

I think that after Wishful, I worked down at the Roundabout Hotel in Fareham with John Baker and Simon the keyboard player from the Top Rank band. Now that was a residency! We played there 7 nights a week. It got a bit boring after a year.

This is when we formed "Crystal" with Mick and Lynn and Brian Wright. They were a really popular band. We had loads of work all the time.

Going back now to around 1977 I linked up with Bob Phillips to form the original "Billy Whizz" duo. I remember that Bob and I used a Bang and Olufson reel to reel tape deck to record our back tracks. I am pretty sure that at the time, we were one of the first duos around. Bob and I then formed a great local band called "Guvnor" We teamed up with 'Spike' Waters and Bernsie Brown.

A tight band with loads of good harmonies !!! For some reason, we split, as all good groups seem to do. Both Bob and I think that it was one of the best local bands at the time. I was offered the job to take over from Ray Graves in Goldrush around that time and stayed with them for about 11 years. Roy Perry, Mick Hall and Gerry Sansome made up the rest of the band. Again Bob Phillips joined us for a few years and then when Mick left the band, Ian Parker joined. I really enjoyed my time with them.

This just about brings us up to the present duo, Billy Whizz. Yes again !... Bob and I got back together again about 9 years ago and it's still going strong. We still make our own midi-tracks and have a great time.

One great thing about being a 'muso', is that it is a business that is pretty much ageless. Most of the guys that started in the 'early days' are still playing today. It really would be great if we could all get together one day.....

I often think of the friends that are no longer with us:

Roy Perry....Martin 'Cuddles' Smith....Chris 'Bernsy' Brown.... Brian 'Fergie' Fergusson....and several others that I knew, but didn't work with.....

That's about it, my 1000 word are done. I'd hate to have to write a book......

If anyone wants to contact me, I'm on: bfg_2000@hotmail.com Tony Collier.

from an e-mail by Dave Morgan (February, 2005):
HIROSHIMA:
I don't know exactly what, whether a book or a magazine, but I just chanced upon an article about the first Atom bomb blast on Hiroshima. August the sixth, Nineteen Forty Five it said. It sounded a long while ago then, now it's history book stuff. But the article mentioned the fact that in the remains of downtown Hiroshima, impregnated on a wall, you could see the perfect outline of a man etched as a shadow against the stone. It was the evidence of someone who had stood there - for a millisecond while the stone behind him was bleached white by the intense flash - before being blown to smithereens.

Well that was it really:
'There's a shadow of a man at Hiroshima, where he'd pass the noon; In a wonderland at Hiroshima, 'neath the August moon..'.
The article wrote the song for me. I was in a group called 'The Ugly's' and Willy Hammond, the lead guitarist, came around one day and we recorded 'Hiroshima' along with some other songs in the front room of my moms house.
That was in the year 1969. A year later, Lou Reizner recorded it with the group 'Wishful Thinking' using almost the exact same arrangement that Willy and I had put together at my moms house. Apart from recording it at studio quality, the big difference was that Lou had dubbed his own voice onto the record - reciting a facsimile of the original news report announcing the atom bomb attack (he got hold of the transcript of the broadcast).
Well that song was a real 'sleeper'.
In fact the 'Wishful Thinking' version immediately sank into a deep coma, not to be awakened for eight years.
Not until 1978 when somebody in East Berlin asked for it to be played on a West Berlin radio station (!!). One thing led to another and by 1979 it had been in the German charts for over 40 consequtive weeks, a massive seller although never higher than about number 30 in the hit parade.
Again the song went back to rest.. for another ten years until 1990 when the German artiste Sandra resurrected it in a totally new version with a new arrangement and beat. In this guise it finally became a top ten seller, reaching number four in Germany, and later selling big throughout Europe.