With thanks to Mitch Fenner for the information on Jean and the Spectres:
Lead guitarist Rod Good was from a well known Falmouth musical family, and a huge inspiration to those of us local kids who dreamt of wielding a guitar on stage. He introduced me to the wonders of Chuck Berry, and we had some great sessions trying to emulate his classic sounds. It was obvious even then that we had different styles of playing – he was technically and musically brilliant and I was all over the place, ‘shooting from the hip’ (he told me forty years later that he actually envied my lack of discipline). Oddly we didn’t ever consider playing together on stage, and eventually we started separate bands, - Jeannie & the Spectres and King Bee & the Drones – and enjoyed a friendly rivalry.
Again, while mine and Viv Robertson’s vocals were raw and basic, Jean’s style was a sparky and tuneful mix of Little Eva, Brenda Lee, and Connie Francis – with Rod providing harmony and back up, as well as lead vocals for Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins covers. Martin Tremayne was much admired for actually making his own Bass Guitar, a skill which was to spawn his career as a teacher of woodwork. Rhythm guitarist Steve Williams, a robust Rugby forward, went on to become a Radio commentator for the game. And I always thought that drummer Malcolm Rashleigh had a natural Blues voice – smoky and laid back, though it never really came to the fore until the band got back together in a 2002 reunion.
In the decades that followed, Rod became a well known figure on the Cornish music scene, and he and Mark Jenkins worked together at a variety of venues and occasions. Rod and I lost touch, and eventually – after a gap of 35 years - we met up at his house in Mawnan Smith. The musical chemistry was immediate, and my young son was impressed enough to suggest we ought to do it for real! From there the idea for a reunion of Falmouth based bands of the sixties grew, and Rod and I finally got to play together at a in 2002, he on Bass and myself on lead – I was left thinking that we should have done exactly that all those years ago. . .
Sadly Rod died in 2004, and every year since his friends and fellow musicians get together for a charity gig in his memory. His musical legacy lives on through two of his three sons, Luke and Christian, while his wife Jean (formerly Hanson) can still be persuaded to sing – only these days it’s nostalgic 40’s and 50’s big band swing!