A Soul, Reggae and Pop group, based around Jason T Alexander
Jason T (Dawson Waldron)
organ and vocals
Alan (Fred) Phillips
rhythm guitar (replaced John Smith)
A publicity shot taken by a professional photographer in Jason's flat. I'm the one with the ridiculous hair flanked either side by Ezra and Tom with Jason at the front. The drummer at the time was Brian Huggins, who didn't turn up for the shoot - Jason was seriously peed off with him!
I was the keyboard player for Jason in the late '60s. We started with a group out of Oldham. Stuart the butcher, tall Stuart with a beard, and Ken? the drummer.
The group folded and then I joined Jason again in a second band the Jason T Sound with Bo the bass, sexy George on sax, Jim the power drummer and myself on keyboard. It was a nice band.
I enjoyed every minute.
I now live in Cleveland Ohio and am Director of Engineering for a multi national Engineering conglomerate.
I joined the band, now called The New Jason T Sound, in 1971 as bass player. The other guys were Jason (Dawson Waldron) on organ and lead vocals, Brian Huggins on drums and Tom Beckett on guitar. The manager was Tom's mum, Doris.
I then took over keyboard duties so Jason could get out to front the band. Ezra came in on bass and Brian was replaced on drums by Martin Soar. Tom left the band for a while and was replaced by Paul Verrechia. Finally, Rob Foden joined on bass when Ezra left.
The band was very busy - we played loads of gigs in Liverpool and a number of West Indian clubs in Yorkshire. Jason was a good front man and singer and we nearly always went down a storm (so I remember!)
I still play in a band with Martin Soar in the Manchester area - we're called The Reactions.
I think I can flesh out the details somewhat! The origins of the band was a bedroom project band called Fidgetty Fudge that Baz Jones and I started as schoolboys. We were keen on the Pretty Things and Yardbirds at the time I remember. Also we spent hours figuring out soul tunes recorded on a tape machine placed next to the TV.
Eventually we decided to put an ad in the Evening News for another guitarist and got Pete Youart from Gorse Hill for a bit with fantastic Gibson 330 and new Selmer Zodiac amp but he had to leave to join the family business (a bakers?). We had auditioned a drummer who had played with Tom Jones and had come to Manchester to manage a Burtons shop. He had family committments so left too.
After this disappointing start we placed another ad for a singer and a drummer. Auditions to be held in Baz's sister's Girl's Venture Corps hut on Urmston Meadows. Wally (Dawson Waldron) showed up from Bishop St. in Whalley Range and drummer John Hinton from Sale came too. He had just returned from a tour of Germany, backing The Dolly Mixtures. A really great drummer he was 22 and we used to tease about being old!
Wally had a fantastic voice. He'd just come over from Barbados via America (I think). We played Otis Redding's My Girl and we had an instant group!
Premier kit, Selmer Treble n bass 50W, marshall amps and Fender guitars. We later brought in John Smith (founder of Gordon Smith Guitars) with his blue Strat and AC30. After a few youth club gigs with various agents we went with the Alan Arnison agency who decided we were to be called Jason T Alexandre and the (get this!) Soulettes. The soulettes bit was immediately dumped!
Played all sorts of gigs- the Jigsaw all nighter, Brown's Stretford, Bus Stop Club, Country clubs, Chester Top Rank, bowling alleys, Vitafoam works do's, Belle Vue ballroom, Sale Locarno, Top of the Town, Rowntrees Sound, Cheshire's civic halls etc etc. The 'circuit' I suppose. At one time we just used to look in the Evening News whats on page to see where we were that night.
We played the University circuit even supporting the Who at UMIST 17th Feb 1968.
One night we had a gig at Keele Univ. and cancelled a long standing gig.
The other agent found out and we were blacklisted!
That heralded an extended period of playing to West Indian audiences which was a great experience! John left the band and guitarist Dave Greatbanks (from Sale) stepped in. He could sing well too. I was an art student and had to go off to college in Sheffield so had to pack in the band....
I hope some of these guys I mentioned can add to this. I still have the date diaries that Sally used to fill in with all the gigs and fees
Alan (Fred) Phillips
L to R
John Smith, Alan Phillips (me)(with hair aged 19) John Hinton, Wally Waldron, Baz Jones.
This was taken about 7pm on Dec 23rd 1967 at the ROAB Hall in Oldham -a night etched in memory.
We arrived about 6.30 and had come from Manchester in 2 vehicles, a Vauxhall Victor owned by John, and a small Morris van driven by our ‘roadie’ Mitch Miller
with his girlfriend Gerry. She had a family party that she insisted Mitch took her back to attend so they left after unloading.
We had got friendly with two girls who had come early and later joined us on stage for protection when a huge fight broke out in the audience,
Bottles were broken, scissors were brandished, and chairs hurled about wild west style. It seemed the whole audience was involved.
The fight flared up if we played fast or stopped so we just played a very gentle ‘Stand by me’ until it was eventually broken up by police with a large alsation.
Shortly after, John and I took the girls home and, on returning, we got terribly lost and decided after multiple attempts that the only way to get back to the hall was by going up a one way street the wrong way as it was dark and quiet.
This we did, and halfway along the road, found Mitch standing beside his van at the roadside looking very dejected. The whole far side of the van was completely ripped off and Gerry had just been taken by ambulance to hospital five minutes before!
Baz and I were left to sort the gear whilst the others went off to the hospital and then returned to Manchester to persuade the guys in the Exits
to collect us and gear. The hall was locked, and Baz and I ejected. We built a shelter out of the amps on the backstreet pavement as it was thick frost.
Turned out that the Exits were on stage until 2 am. and when they finally arrived in the Thames van we were frozen stiff. They were all in the van as well as their gear!
So a ride back home at dawn amplifier on lap whilst being asphyxiated with exhaust fumes. Gerry was ok the next day.
Great fun! And now you know why I remember the date!
The next picture of the Jason T Alexandre group with Dave Greatbanks playing rhythm (he took over from John Smith). Don’t recognise the venue but it could be the Top of the Town, or Rowntrees Sound clubs in Manchester.
L-R The DJ, Me Alan AKA Freddie Phillips, Dave Greatbanks, Wally and Baz Jones. Drummer John Hinton is hidden
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