Who better to introduce this subject than the inimitable Terrence Darmody June, 2008
'The Original Battersea Heroes had many members. It was founded round 1963 as a jug band by Martin James - banjo, 6 & 12 string guitars, lead vocal, harmonica & kazoo, & original songwriting, Peter Nehill played washboard at first, then tea chest bass and bass guitar. We had plenty of guitar players including Chuck Quinton, Roger Blake, Graham Bennett, Lindsay Hewson (John's brother), Neville Drury, Gavec Nicholson, Bob McGowan, Tony Burkys & Mick Diggles. Dennis Burke joined Martin and me on washborad and drums. When Martin left, I started singing lead. Ross J Waters added some real musical class when he was with us on fiddle. Peter Miller joined on bass while Peter Nehill joined and left a few times.
We moved more & more towards perfecting 'good-time' rock'n'roll (our heroes were the Loving Spoonful, Band, Dylan & 50s rockers & folk roots & jazz musicians). Rob Dames (Purple Hearts) joined on bass for a time, as did Peter Knox & Terry Wilson (Slime Men, Wasted Daze, Magnetics) with Barry X drums.
In the last gasp of the Heroes, 2 musos from Melbourne, Lee 'Fred' Cass - drums & Mick Diggles joined and we kept puttering along like a good-time r&r version of Murph & the Magic Tones 'til 1970.
Have I forgotten anyone?
An OBH LP was recorded by Bob, Tony, Peter N, Dennis and me. That was a tight band. We pretty well lived together & often played at the Arts Factory. In about 1971 Bob, Tony, Warwick Kennington & John Taylor formed Uncle Bob's Band, a really good unit that picked up where the best days of the Heroes left off. They asked me to join as singer and we had 5 or so very musical years that finished in Melbourne. Now? Musically, I'm a folkroots/country/blues - influenced gospel singer, guitar strummer and harp/kazoo player'
Brian WakefieldI first heard them in 1966 auditioning for a gig at Rhubarbs where Python Lee Jackson were resident but they were looking for a second band or bands for the other room. OBH didn't get the gig but they knocked me out. The following year my first band the Electric Acid Plant had a residency at a place called SCREW (Society for the Cultivation of Rebellion EveryWhere) where we got the OBH to fill in for us when we got better paying work. Black Alan would play an early spot then the OBH would arrive from an early finishing gig at the Trolleycar Bar and take over. I formed the Slime Men in 1969 with Terry Wilson among others and also played with him in the first Leroy's Layabouts line up in 1976. I also worked with both Denis Burke and Rob Dames in Blatant Outrage 1973-75 (Rob 74-75).
Rob WAugust 28th, 2008I bumped into Terry Darmody in the street today. He came in and sang on our early Bob Dylan Birthday Radio programmes in the late eighties. What an amazing musician! I looked him up and this is what I found. Terry looks just fine. He’s a great person.
"I first met Terry Darmody when he was in his high school 'Dylan Harmonica days' in Mosman and we would all get together in Kum's flat in Miller St North Sydney. Terry was and inspiration to us in that early time of discovery. He was a great pioneer." Leigh Cameron Rowan
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