Dave Bassett around the time of Jason's Mind
Thanks to Dave Bassett for his memories of the band;
The only vivid memory I have of the band is it’s demise, so more on that later.
Following the end of the Dissatisfied I wasn’t initially interested in becoming part of another band having been playing various instruments for the last 6 years. Whilst a part of that last band we played a gig at the Penzance Winter Gardens and due to lack of space I had to use the Hammond organ of the band we were supporting instead of my Vox Continental. Thus began my love of that Hammond sound I still retain today.
I went into a local music store in St Austell and bought Jimmy Smith’s album ‘Organ Grinders Swing’ and from then on I really wanted to play jazz organ.
I’m not sure who’s idea it was to start Jason’s Mind, I suspect Mike Grose as he was always looking for new bands to form, and as I was working then could afford to update my gear to an additional Leslie speaker. I’m sure the group name was my idea as Jason and the Argonauts was one of my favourite films.
Musical influence was Mike ‘s so it was Cream, Traffic, Led Zeppelin and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. I was more into The Nice and keyboard players. No longer were we playing ‘Top of the Pops’ type music which you could dance to, and to be honest I don’t remember anything of what we played.
What date this band began I don’t know but Mike, Paul and I went to the British Grand Prix at Brand’s Hatch in July 1968 before driving down to St Tropez for a holiday.
Tony Coxon remembers standing in for Ben Marshall as Ben had had a Ford Escort Mexico or RS or some souped up car for his birthday and managed to overturn it on it’s first outing! That was about late 1968.
Anyway coming back to our demise - sometime during the winter of 1969 we headed for Tavistock Town Hall to play a gig. Either before we started or during an interval Paul Moon had an altercation with one of the local lads.
Halfway through our set (with it being Winter as well), the ‘local lads’ started throwing snowballs at us. My Leslie cabinet had its speaker grill open so afraid it would get broken, we stopped playing and pulled over the curtains. Basically what happened next was that we were told if we didn’t start playing again we would probably get beaten up. So with that threat in mind we re-started only for me to find that the ring-leader of the ‘local’s wanted to sing in the band and got up on the stage, sat on my organ bench and began singing into the mike with me.
Well we managed to get through the gig but had to stay in the venue until very late to ensure none of the locals wrecked the van.
After that I called it a day. My equipment was on HP and I couldn’t afford anything happening to it.
Following on from that ‘Spike’ Hooper approached me to start a Jazz quartet with him playing guitar, Will Coombe on Bass and Billy Gill on drums. We managed to rehearse one number if I recall correctly before that folded as well.
I sold all my gear shortly after.
Thanks to Ben
Marshall for his memories of the band;
in Jason’s mind - some of the best times of my life.
It was Coads Green we had that unique bit of fun,
Valentine’s Day massacre at Coads Green - with stone
filled snowballs hurled by the audience flying out
of Dave’s Leslie speaker. The locals were rough boys
Mike invited me to play after I
met him on a road trip out of Newquay in the early
summer of ‘68. The next thing I remember was sitting
in with the band at a gig in Pentire, Newquay. After
that I was full time until I wrote off the Ford
escort GT on 23/12/1968. I was hurt bad and had to
cease my lead guitar, then never really recovered. I
had a few gigs, the best one was with John Martyn in
Oxford 1969, but never achieved fame and fortune
John Martyn did. Jason’s mind was great thoug, 3 or
4 gigs per week. The biggest was with the Tremeloes
in the Majestic Ballroom in Plymouth, it was never
certain who was top of the bill, who the 2/3000
people had come to see. Peter Brown, our manager
then, argued it was Jason’s Mind. I was never sure.
Dave Basset's Hammond organ was tremendous,
Mike Grose’s bass great, Paul Moon a driving force
on drums, a privilege to be on stage with them, and
Trevor Manell the best security we ever had. Jason’s
mind a memory that ended with a bang for me. But
some great times. Thank you all.