Martin H Samuel looks back at the early Seventies and recalls his links to
John Edward, Emperor Rosko and a number of ex-pirate DJs, who were by then working for BBC Radio One.

Former Big L DJ John Edward ran an agency representing a number of bands at the time.

"I was the drummer with Heatwave (the first band to be so named) circa 1969, when we signed up with John Edward as our booking agent. As the band was desperate for a record release, we went along with John's every word and he promoted himself as our songwriter, lyricist, arranger, producer, publisher and promotions man.

Right: Martin's publishing agreement with John Edward's 'Instant Music'

Heatwave was invited to appear on Terry Wogan's radio show without having the usual audition and, from that, the band had the opportunity to record for the Dave Cash, Kenny Everett, Dave Lee Travis, Jimmy Young and Radio One Club shows. In fact, Heatwave became one of the most frequently heard live professional bands on BBC Radio One between 1969 and 1971.

John Edward published my song, 'Rainmaker Man', which Heatwave played for a BBC recording session. Although the band did not release it as a single, the song was aired twice on Jimmy Young's World Service Radio Show.

John wrote and produced both sides of our 1970 record, 'Sister Simon (Funny Man)' b/w 'Rastus Ravel (Is A Mean Old Man)'.The 45 was released on Larry Page's Penny Farthing label on 13th November 1970 in the UK, Germany and Japan. Additional backup vocals on the A-side are by The Ladybirds and on the B-side, Rick Wakeman plays piano, with Doris Troy singing backup.

Having played a week at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in 1970, Heatwave is proud of its commemorative brick, 20 rows above John Lennon's in the Cavern Wall of Fame.

Left: The plaque from the Cavern Club Wall of Fame in Mathew Street

I wanted Heatwave to play more of our own originals (I was the band's only songwriter) but the other members disagreed and I was kicked out for it.

In 1971, I joined the south London-based 6-piece outfit Crew. Crew had been going for some years and had released a cover of Paul Simon's 'Cecelia' in 1970. The band was signed to Space Agency on Kings Road, Chelsea. As Emperor Rosko was with the same agency, the band was often booked to tour with him as part of his International Roadshow. June 1971 was a busy month for me. On 12th June, I played Bumpers discotheque in Piccadilly Circus with Heatwave and on 14th June, the same venue with Crew and The Emperor.

Right: Advertisement for Bumpers Discotheque. Appearing with the Rosko Road Show on June 13 is a certain Nicky B Horne, currently to be heard at 1600 every weekday on Boom Radio. Nicky has on several occasions related on his Boom show stories from his time working with Rosko's Road Show – at least ones that are suitable to air.

After Crew, I auditioned with Badfinger and I had the gig until Pete Ham asked, "Do you write songs?" Having been booted out of Heatwave for being a songwriter, for the first and last time in my life I lied and replied, "No, I'm only a drummer," thereby, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. How was I to know they wanted an all-writing band?"

Martin H. Samuel

For full information about Crew and Heatwave, visit Martin's websites dedicated to the bands.

"The Rosko Show Ford Transit van on December 18th 1971. Crew borrowed Rosko's van for a gig in Ventnor, Isle of Wight... the venue failed to pay." Martin is still in touch with Rosko, "52 years down the line".

Rosko ruling his empire during Pirate BBC Essex

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