PURPLE HAZE -
LITTLE FREE ROCK
*One of only two Lanky Bands to have played at London's world famous..
Little Free Rock..
Frank Newbold, John Hill, Rod Willis - above. Cindy Laudati
below.. Paul Varley, John McIndoe.
Not so much Little Free Rock in this instance but some of the goings-on in the LFR flat in Sydenham in 1970. Frank Newbold and the late Paul Varley were obviously from Little Free Rock. Rod Willis (who I'm in touch with regularly) was our roadie and is now back in Sydney Australia having managed some of their biggest groups like Don Walker, Icehouse, Catfish and Cold Chisel. He had worked with UFO when he left LFR. John Hill - from Blackpool was roadying for ELP at the time and staying with us. Cindy Ormerod (Laudati) now lives in Santa Monica having worked for Rhino Records in California.
Lastly John McIndoe - with the boobs! - was originally ligging about with Love Affair and Innocent Child from Blackpool. He became a member of American TV Stars The Bugaloos. He says he owes it all to me. He was staying with us at the group flat in Sydenham and getting nowhere fast. I did some songwriting with him. I didn't actually kick him out but I gave him a pep talk and off he went. Came back a week later driving a Daimler as Jonathan King's chauffeur. Whilst with King he was at EMI House for a meeting and John was looning about. He stumbled into a room where they were auditioning for the Bugaloos. They asked him to do a bit and lo and behold he got the part. They did want him to play a part called I.Q. so he did fit the role! He later married The 'Ponds Cold Cream' millionairess Connie Pond and now lives in Arizona. All my fault! I wish someone had given me a pep talk..
Peter Illigworth: January 2012
Drummer Paul Varley with Clive Kelly at his feet..
The other.. David John & The Mood
Little Free Rock did a Sunday night residency for a few months as well as playing with numerous other people like Slade, Julie Driscoll, The Brian Auger Trinity and UFO.
"After David John & The Mood..
..the Little Fat Black Pussycats were formed who then we morphed into Purple Haze! We played in the famous wrestler Big Daddy's place in Bradford, called The Little Fat Black Pussycat Club. This name seemed a good idea at the time as there were bands around called The Fruit Eating Bears, and similar. However when I tried to get gigs the agents were not too impressed and when they'd stopped laughing we got few gigs.
The Little Fat Black Pussycats..
Peter Illingworth: Lead Guitar. Paul Varley: Drums.
Frank Newbold: Rythmn Guitar. Barry Finch: Bass Guitar.
Trimming down from a six-piece band to a three-piece to become Purple Haze. Fred Kelly from Preston - Rare Bird - was in LFBP and for a while we had two drummers; Fred Kelly and Paul Varley. Unfortunately it turned into a nightly drumming competition so Fred left as did Derrick Coe the organist. Barry Finch, the bass player failed to turn up one night and Frank played bass, so we ended up a three piece - Purple Haze!
Peter Illingworth: Lead guitar - Vocal. Frank Newbold: Bass Guitar - Vocal.
Paul Varley: Drums.
We changed the name from Purple Haze to become Little Free Rock because of the obvious Jimmy Hendrix association and got a recording deal with Transatlantic records.
A girlfriend of mine, Linda Taylor, had a book on the meaning of names. She told me that Paul meant ‘Little’, Frank meant ‘Free’ and Peter meant ‘Rock’, so that’s how the new name came about. It also symbolised the kind of Free Rock Music that we were creating. I suppose the 'Little' portion suggested humility and for all that, we were kind-of humble. It's difficult to keep your feet on the ground when everything is going fantastically. For me also the name sounded like a Red Indian name, so, with all the imagery that that suggested we became Little Free Rock.
Paul, went on to be in Arrows who had a couple of hit records with Mickie Most and a TV show.
Little Free Rock..
John Taylor: Bass Guitar. Paul Varley: Drums.
Carl Douglas Band of Kung Fu Fighting fame - and Killing Floor and Eric Carboo: Percussion.
Ginger Johnsons' African Drummers.
Peter Illingworth: Lead Guitar - Vocals.
Paul Varley left to join Arrows and Kevin Flanagan joined as drummer along with Nick Payne on sax, flute and harmonica. He works for Bill Wyman's Band now.
Little Free Rock - Raad Stadium, Frankfurt.
The cast was in the order shown on the poster:
Little Free Rock
Screaming Lord Sutch
Ashton, Gardner and Dyke
J C Heavy
Little Free Rock just before Paul Varley left to join Arrows. Working with Sarah Gordon. Eric Carboo, John Taylor, Peter Illingworth, Sarah Gordon, Paul Varley and Nick Payne are on the far right.
(c)Peter Illingworth: September 2011/2014