The Early Radio London Fab Forties

Sunday Supplement, 17th October 1965

The Pack
Lead singer Rustic Rod Goodway has very kindly sent us the story of the band

"We looked prettier after we had been kitted out at Carnaby Street with suitable Lord John 'Magic Shirts', but this is the genuine 'Do You Believe In Magic' line-up of The PACK from 1965."

l-r : Andy Rickell (Lead guitar); Rod Goodway (Vocals); Brian Gregg (Bass); Roger Hartley (Rhythm guitar); Bob Duke (Drums)

Photo: Peter H Wilcock


25
Do You Believe In Magic? Pack Columbia DB7702

"What an incredible time we had, taken from our tiny Wiltshire town of Calne and hurled into the wonderful world of Radio London and offshore radio."

I was perusing the Mini Memories web page in a fit of rampant nostalgia and I came across a mention of my old group The PACK, who good old Radio London played and plugged merrily back in 1965 with our debut 45 'Do You Believe In Magic'. John Peel and I (in much more recent times) spoke regularly on the telephone, and his memories of The Pack's version of 'Do You Believe In Magic' were (unsurprisingly) not favourable, but he never had a bad word to say about Radio London.

It's true, The Pack were 'one hit wonders' but what an incredible time we had, taken from our tiny Wiltshire town of Calne and hurled into the wonderful world of Radio London and offshore radio. We presented our disc to Radio Caroline from the luxury of our Recording Manager Mickie Most's yacht! We were playing alongside all the big stars of the day. I recall Dusty Springfield as so tiny, but so majestic. Our Business Manager was Peter Grant, who went on to manage Led Zeppelin.

I remember us doing a Radio Luxemburg programme with Shaw Taylor and Muriel Young. I think it was called 'Swoon Club'. Boards were held up with the immortal words 'scream' and 'swoon' on them, for the live audience to do their thing, just in case there weren't any Beatles or other 'scream-worthy' people in the studio. I remember Jeff Beck was there, and we were mighty impressed when he came over to say 'hello' to our famous bass player (and personal manager) Brian Gregg. Brian had previously played with Johnnie Kidd and the Pirates, Terry Dene, the Tornados, Billy Fury and many others in the Larry Parnes stable of 'artists with silly names'. Brian was famed for writing the immortal bass line to Johnny Kidd and The Pirates' 'Shakin' All Over'!

Right: "This photo includes our 'mascot' (and real 'leader of The Pack') Sabre the Alsation dog."

The Lovin' Spoonful's version of 'Do You Believe In Magic' was indeed the best - well, they wrote it after all - but Mickie Most insisted that we cover it. I had the flu when I sang it, but studio time was so limited, etc... excuses, excuses! We enjoyed a resurgence of sales a while after the single's release, due to radio and TV appearances. I remember a TV show produced in Bristol by TWW (Television Wales and the West), called 'Discs A'Go-Go' where we supported Bo Diddley. Wow, I'd love to see THAT footage again, but it was probably all wiped. (Tho' I do have a photo of me actually onscreen, taken for posterity. See clipping below.) A very young Tony Prince co-hosted the show with Kent Walton.

There was life after The Pack too, for me and for lead guitarist Andy Rickell. The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown, Linda Lewis, The Third Ear Band, and loads more groups, up to the present day.

I cannot help but chuckle when I read (at the bottom of the same page as the 24th October charts) about Ron Wood and brother Art Wood band The Artbirds, as the first band I joined when leaving The Pack in 1967/68 was The Artwoods, who had just changed their name to The St Valentine's Day Massacre. Art Wood actually left the band and I took his place as the band's lead singer in order to perform the outstanding live dates booked for The St.Valentines Day Massacre and to promote the final single "Buddy Can You Spare A Dime". Many years later, in 1988, the drummer of The Artbirds, Twink became the drummer of my band Magic Muscle when we reformed for a tour and to record an album. (Twink had been a member of The Fairies, Tomorrow, and The Pretty Things. See notes for Fab 40 14/03/65, where the Fairies appeared with a climber.)

All the Sixties stuff is represented with many photos of those times in the Rock Family Tree at my website (see below).

I must admit, I have never dwelt much on my 'fab' days in The Pack before, even tho' I've got loads of memorabilia here. My website doesn't even scratch the surface! (Perhaps I should go all the way and upload everything?) On October 21st of 2006, I will be 60. Too old to be acting coy and 'cool' over my 'shock horror 1960's chart entry'! No matter that it wasn't a massive hit, being there was a privilege. But I've stayed in the music biz all along. I still play, release occasional albums and make my living selling music that is very much today, but also, to me anyway, in the true 'spirit of the 60's'. Brian Gregg is also still playing professionally.

In the summer of 2005, I did a festival gig with Barry Melton, the lead guitarist (way back when) with Country Joe and the Fish. We were jamming at one stage, and I could literally sing anything I liked. For the first time in forty years, I sang 'Do You Believe In Magic'. It was exactly 40 years since the 'hit', and I really enjoyed it. What a pity I didn't find your site then, and get in touch. But better late than never.

I hope some of your readers can find their way to my site to relive some of those special 1965-1967 moments and, indeed, listen to The Pack's inferior (tho' very 'punk rock') version of 'Do You Believe In Magic' in my Garden of Sound.

Many thanks for 'being there', Mary. It's a wonderful job you are doing. Radio London meant so much to us, before and during the crazy whirl of life on the road in the 1960's. The Pirate Ships did so much for good music and certainly helped make this young rustic's dreams come true. I'm still checking-out new offshoots from the Radio London site every day.

Thanks for a wonderful website.

Peace, Love & Music,
'Rustic' ROD GOODWAY
(Calne, Wiltshire)

Visit Rod's website: www.achingceller.co.uk to listen to Do You Believe In Magic, B-side Things That Bring Me Down, see the amazing Family Tree of bands and read Rod's personal tribute to John Peel.


Webmaster's notes

Fab 40 Positions

Do You Believe In Magic? Pack Columbia DB7702
Do You Believe In Magic? Lovin' Spoonful Pye Int 7N25327


The way in which the two versions of Do You Believe in Magic come and go in the Fab 40 is rather strange:

19/09/65 Do You Believe in Magic a joint entry for the Lovin Spoonful AND the Pack, is new at #35

26/09/65 The Pack has vanished and Spoonful climb to #22

03/10/65 Spoonful climb further to #16

10/10/65 both versions of Do You Believe in Magic have vanished from the Fab 40

17/10/65 both versions of the song reappear at #25

24/10/65 both versions climb to #22

31/10/65 both versions are gone

Brian Long's main source for the Fab Forties from those dates is the lists that were typed at the Curzon Street offices. Things had very often changed by the time the list and the accompanying new releases arrived aboard the Galaxy and the chart that was actually broadcast had often changed substantially from the list originally sent! Sadly, unless we can unearth actual recordings of all the charts in question, we can't confirm what was actually broadcast.

Discs A'Go-Go

'Discs A'Go-Go' was not networked throughout the UK, but according to Terry Humphries, was also shown in the Tyne-Tees region and possibly other areas. Terry is a television cameraman who worked for Granada, TWW and HTV before turning freelance in 1989.

Trevor Bailey wrote a short item about the programme, which is included in our Kent Walton obituary

It was Trevor writing in Mini-Memories about his school in Wiltshire where "Everyone... knew somebody, who knew somebody who knew the Pack", that drew Rod's attention to the Radio London website.

Do You Believe In Magic? Pack Columbia DB7702
Do You Believe In Magic? Lovin' Spoonful Pye Int 7N25327

As has been pointed out to Rod, the Lovin' Spoonful may have recorded a superior version of 'Do You Believe in Magic ', but a mint copy's valued at only 10, whereas the Pack's can fetch 30!

(click on the picture for an Amazon link to more information about the Record Collector Rare Record Price Guide)

The above feature is © Rod Goodway and Mary Payne 2006
Photographs © Peter H Wilcock and may not be reproduced without permission

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