This is the story of a band from the 1960s called THE TORNADO'S The band was the invention of the Legendary Joe Meek who wrote TELSTAR the no 1 record all around the globe !
|Joe Meek's Band The Tornado's|
|Also known as||The Tornadoes (in America)|
Original Tornados (1975 reunion)
Tornados 65, The New Tornados
|Genres||Pop, instrumental rock, surf rock|
|Years active||1960–1967, 1975|
|Labels||Decca, Columbia (EMI)|
|Associated acts||The Saxons, Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, Billy Fury (1962), The Churchills|
The Tornados were an English instrumental group of the 1960s that acted as backing group for many of record producer Joe Meek's productions and also for singer Billy Fury. They enjoyed several chart hits in their own right, including the UK and U.S. Number One "Telstar" (named after the satellite and composed by Meek), the first U.S. #1 by a British group.
From January 1962 to August 1963, The Tornados were the backing band of Billy Fury; they toured and recorded with him as The Tornados. Their recordings were produced by Mike Smith and Ivor Raymonde.
The Tornados made a scopitone film (an early form of music video) for "Telstar" and another for their chart hit "Robot" featuring members of the group walking around woodland dressed in appropriate headgear with their guitars, flirting with various young women and being finally arrested by policemen after lighting a campfire.
For a time the Tornados were considered serious rivals to The Shadows. The Tornados single "Globetrotter" made it to number 5 in the UK Singles Chart but Meek induced bassist Heinz Burt to leave for a solo career and in 1963 the group began to fall apart. By 1965 none of the original lineup remained. On some promotional items, later lineups were therefore credited as Tornados '65 and The New Tornados, but these names were never used on the Tornados releases. Later in the mid sixties The Tornados backed Billy Fury again, with Dave Watts on keyboards, Robby Gale on guitar and John Davies on drums. In 1968, in Israel to perform in Mandy Rice-Davies' night club "Mandys", they stayed for a ten week tour after which they disbanded, leaving Watts in Israel playing with The Lions of Judea.In later years,
After drummer and bandleader Clem Cattini left the Tornados in 1965 he became a successful session musician, playing on recording sessions for other artists, and was featured in Cliff Richard's backing bands. He holds the record for appearing the most times on UK #1 singles.
Rhythm guitarist George Bellamy is the father of Matthew Bellamy, the front man of British Alternative Rock band Muse.
In 1975 Clem Cattini, Roger LaVern, Heinz Burt and George Bellamy reunited and released a version of "Telstar" as the Original Tornados. In the 1970s Billy Fury formed a new backing band called Fury's Tornados with a completely unrelated line-up. They also recorded and released a version of "Telstar" in the mid 1970s.
In 1996 Ray Randall wrote and recorded a 3-track CD with Bryan Irwin and Stuart Taylor, using the band name Ray Randall's Tornados, as a tribute to the late Joe Meek, 30 years after Meek's death. Randall has since recorded a solo album entitled "Polly Swallow" (1997).
"Do You Come Here Often?"
The B-side of the final single that the group released, in 1966, "Do You Come Here Often?", was the first openly "gay" pop record release by a UK major label. It started off as a standard organ-inspired instrumental, but Joe Meek decided that the organ playing was a little too jazzy for the style of the group. So, about two-thirds in, a casual conversation between what appears to be two gay men (Dave Watts playing keyboards and Rob Gale playing guitar) was overdubbed. The song was featured, along with other gay-flavoured releases, on a 2006 compilation CD, Queer Noises. Members
- George Bellamy: Rhythm guitar - (born 8 October 1941, Sunderland).
- Heinz Burt: Bass guitar - (born Heinz Henry Georg Schwartze, 24 July 1942, Detmold, Germany — died 7 April 2000, Weston, Hampshire).
- Alan Caddy: Lead guitar - (born 2 February 1940, Chelsea, London — died 16 August 2000).
- Clem Cattini: Drums - (born 28 August 1938, Stoke Newington, North London).
- Roger LaVern: Keyboards - (born Roger Jackson, 11 November 1938, Kidderminster, Worcestershire).
- Ray Randall: Bass guitar (born 7 November 1944, Bushey in Hertfordshire) Played bass with The Tornados (after Heinz left) from 1963-1966.
- Stuart Taylor: Lead guitar (born 23 October 1944, in London — died 18 April 2005).
- Tab Martin: Bass - (born Alan Raymond Brearley, 24 December 1944, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumbria). Tab took over from Heinz for a few months before Brian Gregg took over.
- Brian Gregg: Bass - (born 31 January 1939, London).Brian took over from Tab Martin.
- Phil Webb: Guitar
- Jimmy O'Brien: Keyboards
- Norman Hale: Keyboards on "Love and Fury" (first single line-up)
- Dave Watts; Keyboards on "Early Bird", "Stingray", "Is that a ship I hear", "Popart goes mozart", "Aqua Marina", "Lawrence of Arabia", "Do you come here often".
- Tornados 65 (on "Early Bird" and "Stingray" singles, credited as The Tornados)
Bryan Irwin (rhythm guitar), Dave Cameron (lead guitar), Peter Adams (drums), Dave Watts (keyboards), Ray Randall (bass guitar), Roger Warwick (tenor saxophone)
- The New Tornados (1966-1967 singles, credited as The Tornados, plus (Dave Watts (keyboards) Retained from previous line up) with
- John Davies, Robb Huxley, Pete Holder, Roger Holder.
- "Love and Fury" (Meek) / "Popeye Twist" (Cattini) (Decca F11449, 1962)
- "Telstar" (Meek) / "Jungle Fever" (Goddard) (Decca F11494, 1962) - UK & U.S. Number 1 LISTEN
- "Globetrotter" (Meek) / "Locomotion With Me" (Decca F11562, 1963) - UK Number 5
- "Robot" (Meek) / "Life On Venus" (Meek) (Decca F11606, 1963) - UK Number 19
- "The Ice Cream Man" (Meek) / "Scales Of Justice (Theme)" (Decca F11662, 1963) - UK Number 21
- "Dragonfly" / "Hymn For Teenagers" (Meek) (Decca F11745, 1963) - UK Number 41
- "Joystick" (Meek) / "Hot Pot" (Meek) (Decca F11838, 1964)
- "Monte Carlo" / "Blue Blue Beat" (Irwin) (Decca F11889, 1964)
- "Exodus" / "Blackpool Rock" (Cattini) (Decca F11946, 1964) - Number 41
- "Granada" / "Ragunboneman" (Meek) (Columbia DB7455, 1965)
- "Early Bird" (Meek) / "Stomping Thru The Rye" (Tornados) (Columbia DB7589, 1965)
- "Stingray" (Gray) / "Aqua Marina" (Gray) (Columbia DB 7687, 1965)
- "Pop-Art Goes Mozart" (Mozart arr. Meek) / "Too Much In Love To Hear" (Gale; Holder) (Columbia DB7856, 1966)
- "Is That A Ship I Hear" (Meek) / "Do You Come Here Often?" (Tornados) (Columbia DB7894, 1966)
- "Telstar" / "Red Rocket" (as Original Tornados, SRT 1975)
- The Sounds of The Tornados (Decca DFE 8510, 1962)
- Telstar (Decca DFE 8511, 1962)
- More Sounds from The Tornados (Decca DFE 8521, 1962)
- Tornado Rock (Decca DFE 8533, 1963)
- Away From It All (Decca LK4552, 1964)
- The Original Telstar: The Sounds of the Tornadoes (U.S. 1962)
Billy FuryAt the present time, members of Fury's Tornados act in The Billy Fury Story starring Colin Gold as Fury. These are Charlie Elston, Chris Raynor, Graham Wyvill and John Raynor.
- Billy Fury and The Tornados (Decca DFE 8525, EP, recorded 8 and 11 January, and released 30 March 1963)
- Billy Fury and The Tornados: We Want Billy! (live, recorded 30 April 1963) (Decca (S)LK4548, released October 1963
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