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THE DOMINATORS

The Z Men

Preston

Jim Clegg: Lead Guitar. Bill Hunt: Rhythm Guitar. Daz Smith: Bass Guitar:

Grayam Oates: Drums. Ronnie Manley: Vocal.

 

Formed in October 1959 and we operated out of the Derby Arms pub in Lord Street, Preston. The band played together all over Lancashire up until I left in the summer of 1962. In that time, Ronnie was replaced with Bob Johnson on vocals and I was replaced by Reg Welsh on Lead guitar. The band ended in early 1963.

 

  Our biggest highlight was to be invited to an audition for a Pro job with the newly built Mecca dance hall in Burnley. There were only two bands invited. Us and the other group, who were called Ricky Shaw & The Dolphins. They won the job easily and shortly afterwards they relaunched themselves as The Hollies.

 

  Daz Smith went on to play in most of the best bands in Preston and Bill Hunt went on to play a prominant role in setting up blues bands. Both Daz and Bill are still playing in different bands to this day, and so am I.

 

  After I left The Dominators, my biggest memory of the 60's was being asked to set up a band with two young lads from Preston. The drummer in that band was no other than Keef Hartley and we know where he went onto play. We only played together for about three months because it was obvious that Keith - that's his real name - was absolutely brilliant and was destined for stardom which he achieved.

 

  The band I later played in that had Keef Hartley on drums and we called ourselves 'The Z Men'. It featured me on lead, Keef on Drums, Pete Atkinson on Rhythm and Jimmy Whittle on Bass. In 1960, Bill Hunt's dad, also called Bill, started his own entertainment agency, and the firstst thing he did was to buy the Dominators a Ford van. Had it painted Red and White, with all our names on the sides. The inside was split into two. The front was for our equipment and the rear had seating. We also had a two sided glass advertisement board made, with all our photo's in it and we used to place it outside the venues where we were due to play. It's hard to think, how this board never ever got damaged or pinched. That would'nt happen today! Bill Hunt still has the board to this day in his garage at home in Preston.

 

Jim Clegg

 

 We played at a 'BP' annual dinner at the Dunkanhaulgh Hotel. That night, we were practicing at the Derby Arms, when Dad Bill came in and said that the entertainment had let the BP dinner, down. He told them that he would send a band, us! We all shot off home to get our clothing, while Dad Bill loaded the van with all our equipment. He drove to all our homes picking us up and off we went. We arrived at the hotel at something like 10: 00pm and we were not going to get paid. Dad Bill said we would play for nothing and we would use it as an audition for future events. We finished playing our second set around 12: 30am, and this chap came up to us, thanked us for coming and asked how much we had got paid? I replied, 'nothing'. This chap told us to stay there. He came back some 30 minutes later with a wine bucket full of money. Said he'd had a whip round and gave it to us. We counted it out and it came to over 60. 60 pounds in those days was an enormous amount of money for a band like ours. I think we were on 15 per gig then, still good money. We used to play regulary at Skelmersdale Labour club on Thursday nights and The Riverside Club, Banks nr Southport on Tuesday's. Great day's and great memories.

Jim Clegg: January 2012

 

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