Friday, 13 April 2018

The Beatstalkers

The Mod group was formed by two Shawlands Academy school boys, Alan Mair and Eddie Campbell in 1962. The lineup was Davie Lennox (vocals), Eddie Campbell (guitar), Alan Mair (bass) , and ‘Tudge’ Williamson (drums) [replaced by Jeff Allen]. A little later Ronnie Smith (rhythm guitar) joined the group. Under the management of Joe Gaffney they sang cover versions of obscure soul and R&B songs they heard at Gloria’s Record Shop in Battlefield.

The group gained quick popularity and were followed by hoards of screaming fans causing riots everywhere they made a pubic appearance. As a consequence they were dubbed by the press as the ‘Scotland’s Beatles.’ Beatstalker fans modified Beatle fan songs like

"We love you Beatstalkers,
Oh yes we do, and where you go-o-o, we'll follow you.
We've been to Barrowland, the Palais too,
Oh Beatstalkers we love you!

They even had fan songs like:

Heh I'm a Beatstalker fan
Heh I'm a Beatstalker fan
Davie, Eddie, Tudge, Ronnie, Alan
Davie, Eddie, Tudge, Ronnie, Alan
Davie Eddie, Tudge, Ronnie, Alan Mair

Sang to the tune Watermelon Man

The Beatstalkers were regulars at the Barrowland and the Dennistoun Palais and signed to Decca Records. The group released several singles including ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ ’Bout My Baby’. Although this sold well in Scotland ‘Left Right Left’ and ‘A Love Like Yours’ which followed, did nothing chart wise.

In 1967 the group moved to London and had a send off from Central Station with 2,000 screaming fans. They played regularly at the Marquee Club and appeared on Ready Steady Go. Now full blown Mods they wore tartan hipsters and sharp Ben Sherman shirts.

Despite changing labels to CBS the group was unable to achieve a major breakthrough. Now under the management of Ken Pitt, the Beatstalkers recorded three of hitherto unknown David Bowie compositions. ‘Silver Tree Top School For Boys’, ‘Everything Is You’ and ‘When I’m Five.’, All failed to catch public attention and after a series of mishaps and lack of general success the original group broke up in 1969. Allan Mair started a clothes and boot company in Kensington Market and in the early 70s employed Freddie Mercury as shop manager. Mair did eventually return to the music business and had success with the Only Ones. Eddie Campbell played in Tear Gas and Jeff Allen went on to play for Dr. K's Blues Band and then East Of Eden. Davie Lennox joined The Joe O'Donnell Band in 1978.

The Beatstalkers reformed for reunion concert at the Barrowlands in 2005. They enjoyed the experience and continue to play.

Worth a listen
Everybody's taking 'bout my baby/ Mr Disappointed (1965 )
Left Right Left/ You'd Better Get A Better Hold On (1966)
A Love Like Yours/Base Line (1966)
My One Chance To Make It/Ain't Got No Soul (Left In These Old Shoes) (1967 )
Silver Treetop School For Boys/Sugar Chocolate Machine (1967 )

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