From Bumblies To Cryin’ Shames

By George Robinson  

The Bumblies: Barry, George, Charlie, John & John BThe Beatles had recently returned from Hamburg. That was a turning point for me. I couldn't believe it when I first saw them. I liked Cliff and the Shadows, but overnight I became converted. The Beatles were marvelous - they looked and sounded dangerous. It was a similar feeling that came over me when I first saw Little Richard in the film 'The Girl Can't Help It.' At the time I thought the Beatles were German - I remember a lot of people thought the same.

I liked most of the Liverpool groups around at the time: Cliff Roberts and the Rockers and Denny Seyton & the Sabres come to mind. I loved the Remo Four.

I saw the Beatles loads of times before they made it big. Cavern lunch times were the best.

They still owe me for some toast I paid for in the Jacaranda Club!

I was at the Cavern when George Harrison got his eye blacked. The culprit was one of the Casbah crowd, his name was 'Bruno', and he came from Norris Green. Bruno was angry that Pete Best was being dropped. There was a crowd from the Casbah there that night, and earlier, in the Jolly Miller pub I had heard them saying that there would be trouble.

I formed a group of sorts with Mike Parker from Broadway. His friend Dave Also played guitar.

The name we called ourselves, the Bumblies, came from a TV show starring Michael Bentine. It seemed a good choice at the time. Surprisingly, our first gig was at Broadway Conservative Club - Mike's dad had some influence there. Paul McCartney claims his first gig with the Quarry Men was there. We tried to play rock 'n' roll but weren't very good, however, I did learn a lot.

For some vague reason we saw the name the Bumblies as similar to Beatles.

Nationally the Mersey sound was the big thing.

I joined a group in the early 1960s: Buddy Dean & the Teachers. They were very good and I learned a lot from them also. I don't remember their names, only Richie the powerful drummer. The Teachers didn't last long, unfortunately.

John BennettDuring 1963 I formed a group of my own. John Bennet played guitar, he was a friend of Gus, the guitarist with Karl Terry. John had learned a lot from Gus. John was a marvelous guitar player for the time.

Terry Hines, who lived not far from me, formed the nucleus of the Clayton Squares at the time.

The rhythm guitarist in our group was a lad named Dougie, I'm sad to say I don't remember his other name, but he had a Fender Stratocaster. The vocalist was Joey Kneen. We used the name Bumblies again. Various drummers came and went, we were quite ambitious and maybe people who were more easy going than we were found it hard to work with us. Finally, we got Charlie Gallagher, a brilliant drummer who was with the Calderstones. He brought the very competent Phil Roberts along on keyboards, so Dougie had to leave because we didn't need a rhythm guitarist any more.

Sadly, Pete Maxwell, the guitarist who had formed the Calderstones, was killed in a motorcycle accident shortly after.

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