Bujjies / Tiger Tiger

1967-69

Line-Up included:

  • Stan Hoffman- lead vocals, harmonica, flute, percussion
  • Peter Cowap - lead guitar, vocals
  • Wyn Davis ( Graham Hopkins) - bass, vocals
  • Neil Ellwood - drums
  • Ian Starr - replaced Neil Ellwood on drums
  • Calvin ”Spud” Hudson - Wyn Davis on bass, vocals
  • Dave Cakebread - replaced Calvin ”Spud” Hudson on bass, vocals
  • Alan Marks - vocals (ex-singer with The Mickey Finn)

After The Country Gentlemen and The Measles had disbanded, long-time friends Peter Cowap and Stan Hoffman got together in late 1967 to form a new band, whose name was spelt phonetically – The Bujjies. They were joined by Measles’ veteran Wyn Davis on bass/vocals, and Neil Ellwood on drums completed the original four-piece line-up. Ellwood was only 15 and his mother Jean had to sign the contracts for him. 

The Bujjies were initially co-managed by Ian Starr, who had been the drummer with Richard Kent Style for 2-3 years, along with his close friend Lawrence Selco. However, Selco soon quit, and Derek Leckenby, lead guitarist with Herman’s Hermits, became their new co-manager.

About six months before the formation of The Bujjies, Harvey Lisberg of Kennedy Street Enterprises and Peter Noone, lead singer of Herman’s Hermits, had been in the Bahamas where they got very friendly with Mel Grapel, the owner of a club called ’Jokers Wild Club’.

This opened the door for artists from the Kennedy Street stable to go and play there. Among them were The Spongeand Richard Kent Style, who worked in the Bahamas at the same time as The Bujjies. But before they got the job The Bujjies had to make an audition tape, and they quickly booked studio time at DeLane Lea Studios in London. This was a recording studio often used by Herman’s Hermits and Jimi Hendrix at the time. 

According to Stan Hoffman they played the Bujjies’ tape to Jimi Hendrix-manager Chas Chandler (ex-Animals’ bass player), and he really liked the band and expressed an interest in releasing the songs. Sadly nothing came of it, and the tracks remain unissued to this day.

However, the demos did earn The Bujjies their much wanted booking in the Bahamas. The group arrived in the Bahamas on a month’s contract, but went down so well they stayed for about 10 or 12 weeks on that first visit. The band then briefly returned home, while co-manager Ian Starr stayed on in the Bahamas. He was approached by a guy who had the franchise on a club called the ‘Pirates Den’, and he wanted to bring the group back.

Shortly after The Bujjies got together again in the Bahamas with Stan Hoffman on lead vocals, Peter Cowap on lead guitar, Wyn Davis on bass, and Ian Starr now took over Neil Ellwood’s place behind the drums. They were later joined by Alan Marks, the singer from a group called The Mickey Finn, who was already working in the Bahamas. The name of the group was then changed from The Bujjies to Tiger Tiger.

Ian Starr and Wyn Davis had rooms in the hotel where they were playing, while Stan Hoffman and Peter Cowap had apartments. Pete lived with a girl called Sandy.

Pete and Stan had a falling out one day, and Stan knocked Pete’s teeth out. Pete played facing the wall all night. One was high on beer, the other on drugs.

Wyn Davis was missing his wife, and after a while he got fed up with it all and flew back home to Manchester. Bass duties were then assigned to Calvin ‘Spud’ Hudson from The Powerhouse, also known as The Powerhouse 6.

A guy called Howard Hoffman saw Tiger Tiger at the ’Pirates Den’ club and was so impressed that he offered to get them work in Philadelphia, USA.

Bassist Calvin ’Spud’ Hudson then left and was replaced by Dave Cakebread, who had a past in The Hustlers, Neil Christian’s Crusaders, Paul Young’s Toggery and T. D. Backus and The Powerhouse 6.

The band flew to Philadelphia where they worked in a club called the ‘Birdcage’ owned by Ned Seagal, the owner of Cameo Parkway Records. However, they failed to get the working permits needed and soon had to return home to Manchester.

After about 18 months together The Bujjies/Tiger Tiger split up in mid-1969.

However, the time in the Bahamas had given Peter Cowap inspiration to write a lot of new songs, many of which were recorded as demos at Pluto Studios, a still rather rudimentary recording facility in Stockport, set up by Herman’s Hermits guitarists Keith Hopwood and Lek Leckenby.

Tiger Tiger

Among the songs recorded was the wonderful psych-pop gem ”The Sultan’s Daughter” with Stan Hoffman on lead vocals, which at long last saw the light of day on the ”Vault 69” CD released by Pluto Music in 2002. 

Stan Hoffman went on to play in various local bands such as Stockport based The Attic, and later with Dougie (or Duggie – interpretations vary) James Soul Train, Victor Brox and others.

In 1969-70 Peter Cowap played with Graham Caunce Lee and Tommy Unthank from The Scorpions in a band called The Pressmen at the legendary Poco á Poco club in Stockport, before recording a trio of solo singles on Pye (backed by 10cc).

In 1971 he joined the Hermits as new lead vocalist after Peter Noone had left to pursue a solo career. Cowap had a hand in writing the majority of the songs for the Hermits’ ”A Whale Of A Tale” album recorded in 1971-72, released on CD by Pluto Music in 2000.

Some of the songs were inspired by Cowap’s time in the Bahamas, for instance the brilliant ”Morgan’s Privateers”.

Ian Starr quit the music business and became a hairdresser, and later an art dealer in Manchester. Ian and Mel Grapel, who owned the ’Jokers Wild Club’ in the Bahamas back in 1968, are still good friends and Ian visits him from time to time in Miami, Florida.

Another friend of Ian’s from Richard Kent Style, Alan Powell, also lives in America. He now resides in San Francisco on a boat off the royalties from songs. See Richard Kent Style for more details.

 

 

 

Discography:

UNRELEASED TRACKS:

  • Unissued: “Jug Band Music“ (John Sebastian)
  • Unissued: “Lovin’ You” (John Sebastian)
  • Unissued: “I Dig Rock And Roll Music” (Stookey-Mason-Dixon)
  • Unissued: “There Is A Mountain” (Donovan Leitch)
  • Unissued: “Epitaph”=Beatles medley (Lennon-McCartney: arranged by Cowap)
  • Unissued: “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” (Righteous Brothers)

All recorded at DeLane Lea Studios, 129 Kingsway, Wembley, London, WC2 in early 1968

UK CD:

CD: Keith Hopwood & Friends: “Vault 69” Pluto Music Ltd. TH030751 2002

Contains 12 tracks recorded between 1966 and ’69 at Keith Hopwood’s home studio, which was built in the loft of his apartment, or at Pluto Studios, Stockport. Bujjies/Tiger Tiger members Peter Cowap and Stan Hoffman appeared on 5 of the songs including ”The Sultan’s Daughter”, written by Cowap and sung by Hoffman.

Available by mail order from Hopwood’s Pluto website: http://www.plutomusic.com .

My sincere thanks to Danny Hardman, Ian Starr, Stan Hoffman, Peter Cowap and Liz Dixon (Pete’s niece) for photos, information and inspiration to write this article.

Compiled by Olaf Owre, 2004

Additional photos courtesy Ian Starr

 

 

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