Reg James Explosion (Rochdale)

Line-up included

  • Steve Pickering - Vocals
  • Dougie Lawton - Lead guitar
  • Jimmy Shaw - Bass Guitar
  • Mick Ashton - Keyboard
  • Alistair Blincoe - Tenor Sax
  • Alan Solomon - Baritone Sax
  • Dave Farnell - Drums
  • Keith Lock - Drums (replaced Dave 1967)


I remember joining the Reg James Explosion in 1967. I replaced the drummer on the picture. What a fab band that was, vocals, keyboard, 2 saxes guitar, bass and drums.

We were lucky enough to be support band to the likes of Pink Floyd, and my claim to fame was being on the same show as Stevie Wonder at Bellve Vue in 1967.

The lead singer Steve Pickering, who later joined Toby Twirl, is now doing well as comedian Duddly Doolittle.

Keith Lock

They were a great band. The appeared a couple of times at THE ARK, a small soul club in Sheffield in the late sixties.

Mike Jackson

I saw the band at Belle Vue on the same bill as Stevie Wonder. Great gig, great band. I was working the coke bar upstairs in Top Ten!

Paul - webmaster, manchesterbeat

Don't remember seeing this band. However I do know Dave Farnell is drummer at a working mens social club in Shaw, Oldham. He used to gig now and again at the Hamer Working Men’s club in Rochdale a few years ago. A very good drummer - still is.



I worked with his brother Bob in Milnrow from 1971 to 1985. Bob was a pretty mean piano player and could really knock out jazz. I believe that another brother, Paul, played bass for a while with Herman's Hermits.

Steve Pickering, or Dudley Doolittlethe comedian, is still gigging at corporate events and I believe he was/is the studio warm up man for the TV programme "Countdown". 

Dave Anderton - Rochdale

Stuart Littlewood and myself must have split nearly every band in Rochdale and area up to form the Reg James Explosion but they were a great band we booked them every where in Europe from the South of France to Germany at the Top Ten in Hamburg to Sweden and Denmark.

Steve Pickering (Reg James) now known as Dudley Doolittle is a successful comic playing all over the country as well as being the warm up for a host of top TV shows. (Ex Four Suspects)

Dougie Lawton now living in Sweden with his lady Lenna Gardeneas who was lead singer with a Swedish all girl group called Rainey Day Women we used to bring in to tour the UK. She apparently went on to do backing vocals for ABBA and was hostess for the Swedish version of Blind Date, Dougie has had great success as a song writer and producer world wide. (Ex Travellers)

Dave Farnell, has gone on to do session work and work with a number of bands around Manchester, his brother Paul was with Hermans Hermits for a number of years. Last I heard Paul was with the Travelling Wrinklies. (Ex Blue Notes, Avengers, Pepper Tree)

Alan Solomon (Solly) Last I heard he had moved to Sweden. (Ex Hub Hub).

Alister Blincoe (Blinks or Blinkers) again last I heard he had also gone to Sweden. (Ex Hub Hub)

Jimmy Shaw, Unfortunatley is no longer with us. (Ex Four Suspects).

Keith Lock, I do not know where he is Stuart might know. (Ex Dawn Breakers)

Other members of the band at some time were:

Brian Fletcher (keyboard) (Ex Fly-By-Nites)

Barry Trickett from Burnley (drums) (Ex Uptown Go Go Band and Mandy's Movement).

Tony Hayes - (Manager) and ex a few name bands

Tony is right about splitting a dozen groups up to form the Reg James line-up. And what a line up it proved to be.

Musically for the 'time' they were quite brilliant - but then Tony picked the best from the other groups and just hoped they would 'get on' - which was always the biggest problem with young musicians.

I'm still waiting for my commission from the Vabonne bookings but in the confusion of the times that didn't surprise me - it was one roller-coaster ride from beginning to end and I loved every one of them regardless.

I just liked 'good' music and they provided that in bucket-fulls.

I didn't keep in touch with the music scene after closing the agency - other fish to fry so to speak but I did follow some of their careers thereafter from some of my old contacts.

I am pleased to have had some small input to the 'boys' and the Manchester scene of the 60s. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

Fair fortune.

Ray Sanderson/Atlas - 19/8/09

My goodness! I was a kid! But Solly was the love of my life! Beat and Bev and I used to follow the boys around. With hindsight they probably thought we were rather weird!

I do remember the music being fantastic. . .Green Door intro .. stays with a person xx

Julie Cockburn - 4/12/10

We opened for the RJE at the Barry Memorial Hall in 1967 and I was suitably impressed. Surprised that the band never made it big time, as they were as good if not better than Amen Corner.

Keith Coulson (Bass of the John Smith Committee) - Houston, Texas - 15/6/11
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  • The Place July 1968
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