MODS TONY (Terry) BROOK and The BREAKERS WES MINSTER 5

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.uk

EMI 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 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 BrothersTWIST 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.  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 quite a few 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 shykid 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.  They thought I was “So sweeeet” grrrrrrrrr! Bye bye! Mmmmwaaa!

THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS Saturday 2nd May 1964

Host Brian Matthew
The Shadows, 
Roy Orbison, 
Ronnie Carroll, 
Eden Kane, 
The Band of Angels, 
Jan Burnette, 
Me and Them,
Tony Brook,
Janice Nicholls, 
Guest DJ Alan Freeman

 

 meanie 001Love Dances On

Wes Minster Five line up1964: Vocals and Bass guitar Tony Brook alias Terry Webster Jim Ellis drums  Paul Martin Raymond  keys Clive Burrows baritone sax Wes Minster guitar     Blue Beat label Carnival was aimed at the London West Indian/Carribean market.
Blue beat record
The WES MINSTER 5 did sessions for Carnival records providing ‘Blue Beat’ backing for artistes such as Sugar and Dandy and Young Satch . We were the second line up to the original band. They were buddies with the ZOOT MONEY band. My first encounter with Zoot was when we played an open air gig on Weymouth pier one wet rainy evening. A faithful few were determined to enjoy themselves braving the weather and stomping in puddles to the beat. Zoot was good laugh and great showman. My bedsit in Glazbury Road Fulham next to the A4 was a stones throw from the Zoot band digs that were on Gunterstone road.  Zoot enticed our Baritone sax man CLIVE BURROWS to join him. Their guitarist at the time was ANDY SOMERS (POLICE). I was invited to sing my record O0 Poo Pa Do with them on stage at the FLAMINGO Club.  Never been so nervous in my life even after stimulants I found myself repeating the chorus over and over as  I had a mental block. 
Andy Somers gleefully rung me after my EMI record release to say that a record shop window Fulham High Street was crammed with my pictures.’Fame At Last!! I rushed excitedly down there to find my pictures sure enough advertising ‘Latest record release! Simon  Somebodyorother? latest record! ???   I returned to my bedsit deflated and annoyed that the great EMI could be so incompetent to get my pictures mixed up with this Simon guy.  Andy found it amusing as a ‘Gotyer!’ but at the same time sympathetic at my bad luck. Even he was a poor struggling musician at that time.
The best thing I found about being linked to a top name like Jet Harris and The Shadows was being taken to Jennings music store on Charing Cross Road and be GIVEN the instrument and amplifier of choice. In my case I picked a Fender Jazz bass and was  recommended to try the first ‘Piggy back’ transister amp and bass cabinet fresh from the US. Later on leaving the band it hit me as I had to give it all back and buy a bass guitar on Hire Purchase. I had to buy a custom made bass amp from a father/son business behind Wardour Street Peppi Rush.  Speaker cabinets were screwed together in those days and would often work loose and rattle horribly. Mine rattled even more after letting this chap called Jack Bruce (Cream) borrow it while we were supporting The Graham Bond Organisation  at the 100 Club when I was a member of the Wes Minster 5 in ’64.  Jack said quite humbley in a Scottish accent he had just switched from double bass to bass guitar and didn’t have  bass amplification could he borrow mine.  He blew the hell out of it he was so loud.  Rattled me too  but worth it just to name drop with that story.
We were on an ‘allnighter’ at THE MARQUEE supporting LONG JOHN BALDRY AND THE HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN FEATURING ROD ‘THE MOD’ STEWART. As the bands packed up at dawn Long John threw a tantrum followed by a chair, then a table across the empty club room….I think his “Heartaches Had Begun”
Producer Norman Newell should have included the band when I did ATV’s ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’.  There I was all alone for the first time as a solo person without a guitar in my hand. I could only click my fingers as I mimed toward the camera.  On the show were Julie Rogers,  Me and Them(band), Me and Janice “.Oil Give eet Foive”..I had a taste of what it must be like to be a pop star as I left ATV studios. The only exit was through the front doors blocked by a hoard of screaming girls.  They had no idea who I was  but I ran like hell through the lot and down a side street to my car thinking ‘if this is what fame is like, forget it’. A girl handed my trousers in at ATV reception. ?. They had dropped of my clothes hanger as I was being chased. Suit bags were a luxury in those days.
Interesting how people on the Internet forums etc think they know or guess who the singer was on Wes Minster 5’s ‘ Mickeys Monkey’.  It was done very quickly by me Terry  Webster and the band in between backing other artistes on the label. Just a rendition of favourite songs raw without any close scrutiny to the original unlike I would do these days.  
My drummer mate Jimmy Ellis and myself on bass was asked to provide backing for Blues legend Memphis Slim at Fairfield Halls Croydon in1964 although Jim can only recall backing Muddy Waters.  So we have been there on different nights?  I cant remember having a rehearsal just given a key and busk along with old Memph’. Easy to follow was the Blues.  I cant say the same about my earholes doing me any favours when we were asked to back The Springfields at Cricklewood ballroom. Dusty was still with her brothers and I apologised to Tom Springfield after the show for playing quite a few bum notes through not being a reader.. But he was really nice and said he hadn’t noticed……….. Phew!

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