The Good Times/Safron/Beaver story is one that lasts many years. There were many incarnations of the band over the years, but whatever the current line-up they always featured some of the top musicians in the Cornish music scene and were all extremely popular bands pulling in big crowds wherever they played.
Starting life as The Atmospheres the band included school friends from Newquay. They would rename themslves Triple Vintage for a short period before settling on the name The Good Times in 1968. The band could often be found praticicing on Colin Hannah's folks lawn at Shepherds Station, Nr Newquay.
The Good Times featured Malcolm Rusthon on vocals, he had a very soulful voice, sounding not unlike Otis Redding at times. Malcolm's middle name was Louis and the band would also bill themselves as Louis A. Brown & The Good Times.
In 1968 Graham Rushton would move to organ and was replaced by Dave Bunday. Dave was also from Newquay and knew the band well. When Malcolm showed Dave the large number of bookings he had lined up for the band in the coming weeks he jumped at the chance at joining. Little did he know that there was very little in the diary after that! When Graham left the band for good he would be replaced by Paul Foster who was also a friend from school days. Dave Bunday would leave the band in September 1968 when he left for University in Wales.
By 1969 the band were down to a three piece of Colin Hannah, Clive Jury and Les Gill with Malcolm returning later in the year. Peter Hocking of UK beat legends The Birds also sat in with the band for a short period in 1969. By the end of the year they had changed their name to Safron. Clive played a double bass drum kit with 'Saf' on one and 'Ron' on the other.
In 1970 Paul Foster came back into the fold and the band were renamed Safron for the 1970 beat contest at Truro City Hall. They played an original arrangement of River Deep Mountain High on the evening and stole the show. Paul had also decked out his organ in bacofoil for the evening! The crowd and judges were suitably impressed and they took first place. They would soon after make an appearance on a Radio One Club show with DJ Emperor Rosko.
By 1972 only Colin Hannah and Clive Jury of the original line-up remaned. Mike Grose and Will Coon would join the band, along with Reg Hancock and Dave Coon on vocals. Will was a talented songwriter had written many songs over the years for various local bands, and he brought in a new creative period for the band who were now writing and performing many original numbers.
Their one and only vinyl outing was a single for RA Records, based out of Torquay. This custom label had it's own studio and would press up small numbers of records for the performers to sell on at their gigs. The band had supported Daddy Longlegs at Blue Lagoon and guitarist Steve Hatton suggested that they cover Ladies in Waiting. He gave them a copy of their LP on they went away and learnt the song, laying it down backed with Tune for A Vagabond.
Eager for more success they entered the 1975 Melody Maker contest in London, after winning the regional heats. The managed to beat off all the competition from across the UK to become winners. It looked like success would be on the cards and RCA considered signing them but sadly they signed Limey instead, leaving the band bitterly dissapointed.
Undeterred they chose to carry on, but decided to broaden their sound, adding Paul Jennings on Piano after he performed a faultness redition of Rick Wakeman's 'Six Wives' of Henry VIII' at his audtition.
Their second chance to break the big time came when they succesfully auditioned for Alan Freeman's Quiz Kid TV show on BBC Manchester. They cut five tracks in BBC Bristol studios and were voted in 2nd place by the listener and panel vote. Sadly again it didn't offer them the break they had hoped for.
By the mid-late 70s punk was becoming to break through and many bands like Safron were struggling to find a place in the new musical environment. In the Spring of 1977 Colin left and Safron ended. He would leave to become guitar techinician for Al Hodge and The Mechanics.
Out of the ashes of Safron rose Beaver, With Dave Yelland replacing Colin on guitar. Nick Watts would occasionally fill in the guitar slot when Dave wasn't available. Mike Guy was also an occasional player, adding extra guitar and flute.
Beaver soon built up a solid fan base across Cornwall, and regularly played venues such as the Cornwall Colisuem (where they were pelted with fruit and veg by fans of The Lurkers!).
They were a popular draw at the William VI pub in Truro and were asked to contribute to the Double Booked LP, released to promote the venue. They contributed the title track (written at the request of landlord Alan) along with Ellis Island and Third Time Lucky (which had both previoulsy been performed by Safron on the Quiz Kid show).
In the Spring of 1978, not long after the release of Double Booked, Paul and Nick left the band and Beaver broke up a few months later. Clive left Cornwall and tasting some success, playing briefly with Pebbles who later became glam rockers Angel.
Dave was away undertaking teacher training and the band reformed when he returned to Cornwall in 1982. They would then continue playing with various line-ups (including Tony Cousins) until 1993.
On New Years Eve 1999 Clive Jury sadly passed away after a long illness and in 2003 the band got back together again to play tribute to their friend at St Austell Band Club.
Rehearsals at Colin Hannah's family home, Shepherds Station, Nr Newquay
Manager's wedding with band in attendance. Cubert, 1969
Colin Hannah, Clive Jury, Les Gill. Truro City Hall, Jan '69
Guest House in Shepherds, St Newlyn East used as a rehearsal space
Beat contest, Truro City Hall. 1970
Winners Trophy from Beat Contest 1970
Blue Lagoon, Newquay
Melody Maker contest
Blue Lagoon, Newquay
Band and crew
Blue Lagoon, Newquay
Thanks to Paul Jennings
eith thanks to Colin Hannah & Graham Hicks