I was briefly an EMI recording artiste re named Tony Brook in 1964 and writer of “Meanie Genie” with a B side cover version of “Oo Poo Pa Do” At the same time. I was also The WES MINSTER 5 rhythm and blues lead singer and bass player. I sang and played on ‘MICKEYS MONKEY b/w STICKS N STONES on the CARNIVAL Blue Beat label. Shame no videos of those days. The Wes Minster band couldn’t even afford photos. Wes deducted the price of marker pens from our wages. These were used to write ‘Wes Minster 5’ around his Volkswagon caravanette that transported us. Read My article in www.themodgeneration.co.ukEMI boobed with the title of the B side Oo Poo Pa Do (Oo Boo Ba Doo)….and avertised another guys record with my picture……..Help!!
Have written to EMI who own publishers Ardmore Beechwood that have my songs. No Reply.
Front page of the NME was quite something in those days but, didn’t quite work for me. My hair cut was a transition from Rock n Roll without going all out mop top. Noel Gay Artistes who at that time had Peter Asher and Gordon at number one with “World Without Love” and producer Norman Newell tried promoting me as a solo artiste putting me on TV without the band, but I was a band man at heart and soon lost interest with producer Norman.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1b4iUmVQgY My long forgotten song Meanie Genie was heavily influenced by Ray Charles and to my surprise seems to have been recognised as a Mod era classic according to Internet sites. I found there was an all girl garage band in Greece called The Meanie Genies, after hearing my record. Never earned me a penny as EMI deleted it after poor sales. 3,000 was the usual figure they gave for a flop. I have only recently found it was included on a 60’s R n B compilation in the 80’s. Never thought I would see the song again after 1965.
Mods were a quite a new bunch to us over 19’s although I may have had Mod tendencies as early as 1960. Up in Yorkshire aged 16, I owned a Lambretta motor scooter rather than a motorbike. In ’62 Glenn Hughes our sax man in the Jet Harris band got me into the fashion of 3 button Ivy League suits with huge button down shirt collar a la Dean Martin. I first saw a small bunch of these ‘Mods’ huddled in the corner of discoteque called The SCENE in Ham Yard just off Great Windmill Street Soho 1963/4 where I was a regular listener rather than dancer. That is where I heard The Isley Brothers ‘ TWIST N SHOUT’ that blew me away and made me want to dance. If I had got that contract with EMI sooner it would have been my first single and a sure fire hit. I bought the American import disc of Twist n Shout before it had ever been heard over here. Raid the American charts before they got released here that is how most bands got in the top 10 in those days. I would include Twist n Shout in our JETBLACKS (Pre Wes Minster 5) dance set 3 times in a night and people went crazy for it every time……. missed opportunity by a couple of months! DO YOU LOVE ME The Contours another one and then OOH POO PA DO that was my B side to my own song MEANIE GENIE maybe should have been A Side.
I was gob smacked to find my record had not been a total flop thanks to the Internet.
|THE MEANIE GEANIES|
|WHO are The Meanie Geanies?
The Meanie Geanies are a female garage punk band. They were formed back in 1997. A bunch of girls who were friends decided to form an all-girl band playing the music they loved, 60s garage punk and beat. They were named after the real cool song “Meanie Genie” (Tony Brook & The Breakers).
The Meanie Geanies music is a mixture of primitive garage punk (Back From the Grave kinda style), raw surf tunes and moody 60s gems and 60s beat grooves. Their sound is clearly 60s – influenced using vintage instruments and equipment still quite fresh as the Geanies is a band that lives and plays in the 21st century and not back then.
When we were based in London in the early 60’s my sister was a quite well known singer Patti Brook so I decided Terry Brook would be better sounding name than my real name Webster. EMI producer Norman Newell decided Tony would sound less girlish than Terry …….hence Tony Brook. Uh? THE BREAKERS were really rhythm blues band WES MINSTER 5 of which I was lead singer and bass player at the time 1964. We played all the essential R n B gigs The Marquee, 100 Club Oxford St, Klooks Kleek..Pete Stringfellow’s Mojo club.Wes (real name Brian) was a fan of jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery hence the name. I managed to get a bedsit in the same terrace house as Wes on Glazbury Road Fulham. Different parts of the house were occupied by musicians with Wes in a top floor bedsit next to a sax player and a trumpet player and you would hear different sorts of musical scales and warm ups going on through the day. Next to me was Jeff who played guitar with Wee Willie Harris. In the basement were two sweet friendly Irish girls who worked for the Air Lingus office in Kensington. In the next street to my bedsit in Glazbury Road lived the Zoot Money band who poached our sax man Clive Burrows. We replaced him with John Hammond who later joined Alan Price.
I was spotted by producer Norman Newell at Abbey Road studios as we did a session for a sax player friend of Wes Minster who had written an instrumental. I sang ‘Oo Poo Pa Doo’ as a sound check. Norman was bowled over at my vocal delivery and just about signed me on the spot. Later disappointed at my quietness away from the microphone. My manager asked “Could you bubble more for Norman?” I didn’t want to ‘bubble’ thanks as I began to dislike Normans dated ideas…He took my bass guitar away and he and the management who also had PETER AND GORDON put me out on ATV’s ‘THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS’ and ‘ FOR TEENAGERS ONLY’ without a band not knowing what to do with my instrument free hands and just clicking my fingers.
The best thing about the “For Teeenagers Only” TV show from Bristol was being on at the same time as the very much respected SOUNDS INCORPORATED who I had toured with many times. I was surprised when they asked me if I had written the song MEANIE GENIE and said it was a “good record”. Made my day as they only knew me as this quiet shy kid who played bass guitar in the Jet Harris band. The other great thing about the show was it featured the Baker Twins, two very attractive posh blondes and they asked for a lift back to London in my Mini. I felt the bees knees stopping at a half way cafe with these two georgous girls. I was almost expecting Oliver Read or Terence Stamp to turn up on motorbikes. Reality hit me as I dropped them off at a rehearsal room in Hampstead where a good looking actor luvvie greeted them in an equally posh manner. “And who’s your friend..?!” They thought I was “So sweeeet” grrrrrrrrr! Bye bye! Mmmmwaaa!
THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS Saturday 2nd May 1964
Host Brian Matthew
The Band of Angels,
Me and Them,
Guest DJ Alan Freeman