The Senators 1964

Birmingham 1964
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This picture was stolen from the Brum Beat site.

Terry Beal: vocals
John Bonham: drums
Graham Dennis: rhythm guitar
Bill Ford: bass guitar
Trevor McGowan: lead guitar

The Senators unknowingly made rock music history in 1964 when they recorded a song called She's A Mod at Hollick & Taylor Studios in Birmingham. This was the first ever recording to be released featuring a young drummer called John Bonham.

John Henry "Bonzo" Bonham was born May 31, 1948 in Reddich, Worcestershire. He learned to play drums at a young age. By the time he left school at 16, he was playing in his first band called Terry Webb and The Spiders while working by day on building sites with his father.

Bonham joined The Senators (or The Nighthawks at the time) at the end of 1962 and the group performed all over the area. Like The 'N Betweens, they won many local talent competitions but never got 'the' break. They were selected in 1964 (along with 13 other groups) to be included on the independent BRUM BEAT album released on Dial Records. The Senators' publicity photo above (property of Bill Ford) was taken for the later single release on Decca which was withdrawn due to complications.

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Express & Star: 27th Novemeber 1964

The above advert appeared in the Wolverhampton Express & Star in November '64. On careful observation you can see that The Senators , who would probably have their recording pressed and possibly even available, are supported by "the fast rising N'Betweens" and, Sunday Next - "TV personality Steve Brett and The Mavericks" will be playing.

Not a bad night's entertainment then, Bonham and Powell sharing the stage and Neville due to appear the next night. The 3 Men In A Boat was, of course, the happening venue at the time and luckily for Noddy Holder, only a short walk from home. For John Bonham, it was run by his uncle so he may even have helped himself to a sandwich or two.

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Bill Ford, John Bonham & Graham Dennis June 1964

This press cutting (from a larger article) is taken from a June 1964 edition of the Sutton Post. The article is about the choosing of that years Carnival Queen. Unfortunately, our intrepid researcher failed to supply me with the picture of 18 yr old Jennifer Bickers, instead choosing to concentrate on a young, aspiring John Bonham.

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The Senators promo shot and info was stolen from the excellent Brum Beat site, created and maintained by John R Woodhouse, where you can read much more about the group and more importantly, 'the scene'. Bill Ford himself, contributes firsthand to that page and it's well worth reading. As always, my undying gratitude to Chris 'Indiana Jones' Selby for finding the 'new' media. Those library archives are full of trouble but nothing stops our man.

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