1966-fleur-de-lys

1966, some­where in Eng­land. Fleur de Lys…me 2nd from left, the sec­ond Eng­lish band I played with for a bit. We played most­ly Motown style music. I played piano with this band. We once opened for Eddie Floyd (Knock on Wood) in Lon­don, and Bri­an Epstein (Man­ag­er of the Bea­t­les who was pro­mot­ing the show) dropped by our dress­ing room with a bot­tle of Cham­pagne. “Good luck boys” he said…seemed like a nice bloke. I was very sad when he passed away so young…he seemed a tor­tured soul.
I first met Jimi Hen­drix while we were hang­ing out in Eric Burdon’s kitchen in Lon­don. Chas Chan­dler had brought him over from the States to form a band which became the “Expe­ri­ence”. He over­dubbed on a record we were mak­ing called “Amen” (the Impres­sions song) but it was nev­er released. Mitch Mitchell lat­er asked me to play bass in a band he was get­ting together…but it was 1969 and I came to the US instead. He was an amaz­ing drum­mer. Phil Sawyer 2nd from right in back left to replace Ste­vie Win­wood in the Spencer Davies band. We once played a two week res­i­den­cy at the Lon­don Play­boy Club on Park Lane in Lon­don. It was 1966 and the James Bond Play­boy thing was still going strong in Eng­land with a cer­tain por­tion of the pop­u­la­tion. We played in the base­ment dis­cotheque in thir­ty minute shifts, thir­ty on, thir­ty off doing most­ly “Impres­sions” style music and oth­er soul type mate­r­i­al all through the night. Every thir­ty min­utes we’d go eat in the staff cafe­te­ria, which got old after about four hours. There were Bun­nies everywhere…heaven for a young sev­en­teen year old rock musi­cian; I had some mem­o­rable moments. The roulette tables were all on the high­er floors…we had the old guys danc­ing with their young good look­ing paid escorts. We’d see peo­ple like actor James Mason danc­ing out there some­times.

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