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Tony Rivers and the Castaways (5)

We started as an R 'n' B group, moved through Cliff and the Shadows and Beatles influences, then I heard The Beach Boys and that was it.  We gradually changed from 3 part harmony to a 4/5 part harmony group.  We were there at a very important period in pop music, played alongside the most influential and creative bands of all time, The ‘Beatles’, ‘Stones’, ‘Beach Boys’, ‘ Byrds’, ‘Bee Gees’ ‘Who’, ‘Fleetwood Mac’, ‘Ten Years After’, ‘Jethro Tull’, and even ‘John Mayalls Bluesbreakers’ with Eric Clapton.  Phil Collins came up to me once, at Shepperton Rehearsal Studios and told me that he used to come to the Marquee Club to see Tony Rivers & the Castaways, (after school!), and I had almost the same conversation with Elton John, who told me he used to come to see us at the ‘Blue Moon’ club in Hayes,Middlesex.

When Robert Plant played his last gig with his band ‘The Band Of Joy’ at the ‘Park Hall’ ballroom Wolverhampton, before joining the Yardbirds (Led Zeppelin to be) they were supporting Tony Rivers & The Castaways.

‘Alvin Lee and Ten Years After’ were the support to us at the ‘Marquee Club’, as were ‘Syn’ (soon to become ‘Yes’).  We had been signed by two of the top managers in the World.  Not bad for a bunch of east London boys!

That's just about the story of  ‘Tony Rivers and the Castaways’, then came ‘Harmony Grass’ and a HIT RECORD, sessions, then LOADS OF HIT RECORDS with Sir Cliff (and Shaky).


Thanks to ALL the former members of the ‘Castaways’, including Frank Townsend (gtr) Wally Cockell (drums) and Chris Manders (bass), who weren’t with us for too long, you were all BRILLIANT!!  What memories.