The George Peckham Story
Part Two: Enter The Fourmost
By George Peckham  

George, Brian, Dave, BillyWe started rehearsals at the Peppermint Lounge every daytime that was available. The gigs were coming fast and furious and I wasn’t complaining as I didn’t have to chase the work for the band anymore. George Blott did a great job giving us loads of work.

I really enjoyed playing with Earl Royce’s band they were great guys who, like me, just enjoyed gigging and having a good laugh. This caused me to suggest that we add a bit of humour into our act as we all had a pretty mad attitude and we all messed about on stage, so rehearsals became more of a master plan to include all sorts of mad things in the act which when we did the Peppermint Lounge again.

George Blott came up to us afterwards buzzing so much about how we had changed, but so much for the better and he told us that now he could put us into a wider selection of gigs. We were happy to see George buzzing so much and he also started having us appear more often at the Peppermint Lounge which was now pulling a very large crowd of followers. George started inviting club owners to the “Pep” so they could see us at work and book us in at their clubs.

I remember George saying just how proud he was and all the comments he got back from club owners was so positive.

The next thing I heard from Brian in the band was that he was worried as he had noticed that the Fourmost group had been turning up and watching the band play. He said that he had heard that Mike Millward from the Fourmost had been quite ill and that they were tentatively looking for someone to take his position with the band. “I think that the person that they are looking at is you,” Brian said. I said no it’s probably that they are watching our act because most bands do try to steal ideas for their own act.

The Fourmost did keep coming back to watch the band and Billy Hatton approached me and asked if he could meet me outside the ‘Pep’ the following lunchtime as he would like to have a meeting with me. Of course I said yes and the next day up pulled this white convertible E-Type Jaguar with Billy in it. Off we popped to Billy’s house in Dingle were waiting to meet me was an Aston Martin and a big Jaguar too. These belonged to Dave Lovelady and Brian O’Hara from the band.

We sat down and discussed all of the ideas that they had regarding poor Mike’s health and they also told me that they wanted me in the band as they had seen me messing about on stage and this would fit in with them perfectly. The Fourmost, besides being a vocal band, also appeared in Cabaret. They said that they would need a decision very soon as they would have to rehearse me into their act and learn the harmonies which Mike did in the band.

Luckily I was pretty well versed in vocal harmony too. So, the excitement and at the same time the horrible sinking feeling in my tummy told me that I really wanted to be a member of the Fourmost, but I would have to tell Earl Royce’s band what was going to happen. I must admit that this was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do as I really did like the band so much. They were my best friends and also George Blott had been nothing less than a very close friend too.

I asked the Fourmost how much time I had as I felt that I owed it to the band to rehearse a new guitarist urgently, I didn’t want to let Earl Royce’s band down at all as they had been so good to me.

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