Kim Fowley

Beverley Hills, Los Angeles, USA
He's got 43 gold discs and has worked with the Byrds, the Mothers, and many other artists, he's discovered more million-selling artists than Slade have made spelling mistakes. Kim has made millions of dollars, lost them, regained them and mislaid them again.

He was B. Bumble and the Stingers, the Hollywood Argylls, he worked with the Raiders before Paul Revere and saw Leon Rusell stand in as Paul when Mark Lindsey vanished. His were the original versions of "Poppa Oom Mow Mow" and "Popsicles and Icicles." He was the first guy to produce Family and gave them their name.

Kim Fowley, writer / arranger / producer /musician / singer / talker / comic / entrepreneur / promoter / publisher / child genius /mature infant, has been involved prominently in every major development in rock'n roll since the late '50s. He was also the first producer to take Dave, Don, Jimmy & Noddy into a studio and produce a record. That 45 was You Better Run which went on to be the groups first 'sell out' Xmas #1 chart hit, although it was only in the Wolverhampton area, but it was still a good start.

My apologies to La Fuite, I ripped this from there, which was an interesting site, but is no longer around.
For more information on Kim Fowley click on here.

"Security" by The 'N Betweens was Track 12 on this Kim Fowley Compilation Album:-
Impossible But True:  The Kim Fowley Story


Jim On The Fiddle

Codsall, 27th November, 1966

From the Sunday Mercury

I suspect that it was this practice that led to the famous Slade anecdote of how Coz I Luv You was written. Noddy has told it many times and it revolves around Jim and Noddy having a regular warm-up routine, where they used to play Django Reinhardt & Stefan Grappelli jams before taking to the stage. It would appear that he forgot to mention that it actually began with Jim using his violin to combat pre-performance nerves?

My guess would be along the lines of Dave and Noddy discussing Jim's strange routine.
"Yeah, I know it helps with his nerves Nod but it's getting on mine. It's boring!"

"That's the trouble with those Music Acadmy's, they don't teach yer's the good songs. They teach you all the crap ones. Don't worry mate, I'll see if I can get him to play summat a bit more lively. I got a couple in mind that he'll probably enjoy."

"What's gettin' on yer nerves lads?"
It's a great picture and an interesting article. A nice opportunity to view Jim and his fiddle before he had the confidence to show off with it.

It really did become the epicentre of the show!

13th October 1980 at Hardstoft


Another great find by Chris Selby. The photos are taken by Jan Vischer and Ian Edmundson, I think?

The Ultimate Concert

Willenhall October 20th, 1966

For many decades, Slade fans have hoped for a band reunion. They dream of one final ultimate performance by the original cast of players. In the absence of this epic performance, Earls Court is held in reverence. The boys at the peak of their career playing to their adoring fans at the UK's largest indoor venue.

60s supergroup Cream reunited to perform at London's Royal Albert Hall, the venue which was the scene of the trio's last appearance in 1968. Eric Clapton accepted drummer Ginger Baker's offer to start a new band and Eric suggested bassist Jack Bruce to complete the trio. During its two-year life span, Cream released four albums: Fresh Cream (1966), Disraeli Gears (1967), Wheels of Fire (1968), and Goodbye (1968). The legendary band reunited in May 2005 for a series of concerts that went down in history.

Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun signed legendary rock group Led Zeppelin in 1968. The surviving members of Led Zeppelin, singer Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page and bassist John Paul Jones played a one-off concert at the O2 arena in London on 10th December 2007. The groups last full concert had been in Berlin in July 1980 - two months before John Bonham died. His son Jason Bonham played drums for the reunion gig.

Can you imagine Robert Plant, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Noddy Holder, Jimmy Lea, Dave Hill and Don Powell sharing the same stage?

Express & Star: 19th October 1966
"We were just four young kids with a local following in the Black Country. We played dates in the area as the support band to new names like the Cream. I remember one gig at the. City Hall where we played with a local group called Listen who had as their lead vocalist a certain Robert Plant. At that time I used to help out Robert and the band by getting my old man to lend them his window cleaning van when their transport broke down. Anyway we were all on the same bill as the Cream that night, who apart from Clapton were unknown. Robert used to like to move about the stage a lot even in those days before he joined Led Zeppelin. Unfortunately Ginger Baker had a huge drum kit which was spread all over the stage - drums everywhere - I remember Robert very timidly going up to Ginger and asking him if he would mind moving some of his kit off the stage ..."
Noddy Holder: Petticoat 
The gig on 20th October 1966, took place at St. Giles Youth Club in Willenhall, Staffs. I'd love to hear from somebody who attended the gig. "Salus Populi Suprema Lex" indeed.


Tiles Club, London

August 25th, 1966

In August of 1966, The 'N Betweens played at Tiles , a Mod club in London. Tiles opened at 79-89 Oxford Street in March 1966. Despite a lot of promotion, many that played there remember it as 'lacking in atmosphere' but not The 'N Betweens

New Musical Express: August 25th, 1966

It was a basement club and The 'N Betweens were the support act to Crispian St. Peters who was at the zenith of his fifteen minutes of fame.
"We were playing Tiles with Crispian St. Peters and I walked up to him and said 'Hello Crisp, How's business?' The others couldn't believe it. I was only sixteen and he'd had a hit with Pied Piper..."
Jim Lea: Feel The Noize 1984 
'The Cassius Clay Of Showbusiness' did not honour Lea with a response and the band set about doing their show. During their performance, a tall freaky guy in a cowboy hat became very interested in them.
"We rarely played London so we weren't top of the bill. Halfway through our set, we noticed this really tall, streaky figure in the middle of the crowd. It was hard to miss him. Not only was he wearing a cowboy hat, which made him stick out head and shoulders above everyone else, he was also doing this freaky dancing."
Noddy Holder: Who's Crazee Now? 1999
After the show he walked into their dressing room and announced that he was going to make them stars. The freak turned out to be Kim Fowley, who was a somewhat eccentric but influential guru cum producer.
"I'm gonna make you stars. You guys pro-ject!"
Kim Fowley
Fowley and friends (he's in the middle)

Although the group were convinced he was mad, Fowley took them to a studio in London and recorded a version of You Better Run by The Young Rascals. Fowley's attention span was short but his influence, quite effective. He failed to make them stars but he did make them recording artists on a major label, not to mention their 'celebrity status' in the Wolverhampton area.

The 'N Betweens were back at Tiles in March 1967, this time as headliners. Big names such as The Animals, The Who and Otis Redding played Tiles during its two year run. Even Pink Floyd played there  (June 16th. the day they released 'See Emily Play') before it closed at the end of 1967.

In 1966 Jeff Dexter was host and DJ 'presenting all the soul & pop acts....' to a Mod crowd. He later started The Jeff Dexter Light & Sound Show as part of the emerging underground and psychedelic scene. When Tiles closed at the end of 1967 he took up residency at Middle Earth in Covent Garden with John Peel and later promoted and presented rock shows at The Roundhouse Chalk Farm, mainly under the Implosion banner...

Next Page

An Interesting Item

Padstow, Cornwall June 20th, 1966

OK, Comedy Group?

Well, Noddy has always claimed a great admiration for and the great entertainers. It wouldn't surprise me to find that he tried to include some comedy in the act, Max Miller cum Marty Feldman?

TV Stars...

In March 65 the E&S reported The 'N Betweens had been "invited as guests to Thank your Lucky Stars"

I know they were supposed to be on For Teenagers Only in '65 but Billy Diffey let them down and they didn't make it. Steve Brett had been on the program many times and Noddy was an Ex-Maverick. I have read that they were on local Midlands TV back in the 60's but it has never been confirmed. Don Powell cannot recall any TV appearances before their skinhead era. They were probably stretching the truth somewhat or should I say, Astra were?

"Latest record on Fontana"

Columbia, surely but even that hadn't happened yet? And then, what an odd co-incidence that they mistakenly used the record label that the boys would sign with 3 years later?

OK, I'm not a great believer in co-incidence so... I suspect that the group must of had some kind of link with Fontana Record Company. The strangest thing about this ad is that, it comes during the 'Cornish Tour' period, five days before John Howells officially leaves The 'N Betweens.

John Howells 'N Betweens had recorded on Barclay, The 'N Betweens would record on Columbia for Phillips. The group would soon have three separate recording offers but that would be announced next month.

On 28th April 1966 the Express & Star reported that The 'N Betweens were going to London to test for Polydor, this was followed a week later with a bit about them going to the "famous" Abbey Road studios.
It might be safe to assume that the group could make claims to having a record deal, but who was it offered to. At this point Astra would surely be supplying the hyperbole ahead of the event and it would seem that the five piece 'N Betweens had a Fontana offer and record in the pipeline. Was Howells a comedian or was he sharing the stage with one?


Many thanks to Chris Selby for his input and endless knowledge.

In Search Of That Special Gig

Cornwall June 1966

Sometime during June 1966, The 'N Betweens or The In-Betweens (or countless other misspellings) played a 'mini tour' of Cornwall. They played a week at the 400 Ballroom in Torquay and a week at the Blue Lagoon in Newquay.

The boys were staying in a caravan in Newquay. One of these dates, Johnny Howells announced that he was not going to that nights gig. Holder believes he had pulled a girl in Newquay and wanted time alone. The four lads we now know as Slade went off and performed together in public for the first time. It was a complete success and a great present for Holder. His 20th birthday was also that week.

Searching for that elusive gig where the members of Slade first played together, has proved to be a lot more difficult than expected. The gig itself is remembered by the members of the band and Graham Swinnerton, their Road Manager but the date is questionable. Holder is somewhat unreliable with his dates and he is behind the facts on both accounts of this event.

"...they'd contracted various bookings on the strength of Howells name including... an annual engagement for a series of shows... in and around Torquay...

...says Noddy "We were doing a week around Devon and Cornwall and staying in a caravan in Newquay. One night Johnny tells us he has this bird coming round to the caravan and can we do the show without him?...

The first public performance by the quartet that became Slade thus occurred during the first week of June 1966 at the Park Ballroom in Plymouth, where an audience of cross-eyed souls danced to two 45 minute sets by The N' Betweens."

Feel The Noize - Chris Charlesworth
Well, the adverts for Torquay have been found and they suggest that The N'Betweens were there for the entire week, except maybe Sunday. Not one of the cross-eyed audience has been found although many cross-eyed people have been asked if they were there in '66.

"The management from the 400 demanded that John Howells sang with the group. It was great because at least it meant that we had a guaranteed week’s work.It was during that week that we were able to work on things because John did not perform the one night when we went to play in Plymouth. It was in Plymouth that we decided that Noddy was ideal as the group singer."
Jimmy Lea
 The following week The In Betweens played the Blue Lagoon in Newquay from Saturday through till Wednesday being replaced by TV and Recording Groups "The N" Betweens for Thursday and Friday. It's worth pointing out that the Wednesday was Holder's 20th birthday. I find it strange that they are advertised for the entire week if they were supposedly playing one night in Plymouth?

"Matters came to a head just after we played a week in Torquay. We were then due to do four nights at the Blue Lagoon Ballroom in Newquay, then one show in Plymouth. The Torquay dates had gone really well and we were all having a laugh. I even thought that Dave and Don might have patched things up with Johnny...

We stayed for a week in a caravan in Newquay and had to drive from there to the gig in Plymouth. That afternoon we could tell that Johnny was in a weird mood. As we were about to set off for Plymouth he said " I cant make it to the gig tonight". It came totally out of the blue. I can't remember what his excuse was, he'd probably pulled a bird, but he wanted to stay in Newquay...

What Johnny didn't know was that we were waiting for a chance to play without him. We wanted to find out how we could cope when he left.

Plymouth was our first ever gig as a four peice. As it turned out Johnny was barely missed, we went down brilliantly. afterwards, we drove back to Newquay. We were buzzing..."

Who's Crazee Now? - Noddy Holder
"...send you the attached extract from our local paper, The Western Evening Herald....

Plymouth Reference Library
Drake Circus
PL4 8AL"

Western Evening Herald: 18th June 1966

The N"Betweens played at the Park Ballroom on Sunday 19th and the 23rd June 1966. I think it's safe to assume that the Saturday 19th June is the first gig that Johnny Howells was not beholden to play and therefore opted out.

Thursday 23rd was most likely the last Cornish date and Howells officially left the group on Saturday 25th, probably the first day after they got back to the Midlands.

Many thanks to Chris Selby for his assistance and advice.

April 1st 1966

Newcastle, Majestic April 1st 1966

"From: Mickey P.
Sent: Thu 18/12/2008 17:58
To: Information (Newcatle City Library)
Subject: Research

Hi there,

I am interested in searching your newspaper archive for an ad in 1966. Since I live in Essex it's not likely that I will find time to get to your library, I was wondering if you have anybody there that could look for me. I'm aware that this is unlikely but on the positive side, I have the date and location so it only requires finding the ad in the papers over the preceding 7 days?

On April 1st 1966, The "N" Betweens or The In-Betweens (or countless other misspellings) played in Newcastle at the Majestic Ballroom. It will look something like this....

"Top Rank Dancing,
Majestic Ballroom
International Recording Artistes
The "N" Betweens
Admission 5/-"

If somebody would be kind enough to look at the papers for me, this band and particularly this show, for many boring reasons, is important to me and I would like to find a dated advert to confirm its existence, date and location.

Thank you for taking time out to read my email, any help or suggestions very much appreciated?

Michael Parker ;-)"

"Dear Mr Parker

With regard to your enquiry of 18th December 2008, I have checked the Evening Chronicle which is the local newspaper and found the advert you referred to. It appeared in the paper for the actual day of performance, Friday 1st April 1966.

The microfilm was not of great quality but I have managed to get a 'reasonable' copy which you will find in the attachment. If I made the print any smaller in order to get the date etc on the page you would not have been able to read anything so I confirm for you the date it appeared again.

Friday April 1st 1966. Evening Chronicle.

Merry Christmas

Pam Wilson
Library and Information Assistant"

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City of Newcastle website:-
Newcastle Schools website:-
Visit NewcastleGateshead:-


Juanita Banana EP 1966

Barclay Records BLY 70987-1

Sometime around late summer of '66, Barclay needed a promotional EP. I think the French EP releases were all 4 track EP's at the time, they didn't release 45's like the UK. They used The Hills, a Devon based group, and The In-Betweens. It is basically a Barclay sampler.

On side 1, The Hills tracks seem to be the same as a UK release by The Peels on Stateside Records, SS 513, which came out 20th May 1966. Same tracks, same songwriters, same year.

Take A Heart and Little Nightingale are two tracks taken from the 1965 Feel So Fine EP by The In-Betweens. Little Nightingale is said to be written by Jimmy Page but the credit here lists the writer as Williams. Jimmy's Welsh friend, John Williams would write songs and had formed a partnership with Jimmy  in 1965. Page would try to get them recorded by the artists that he played session with. Page with Williams on vocals and Bobby Graham  on drums, cut a demo of the song.
"I was at Jimmy page's house in Epsom, England. I was a record producer and Jimmy was writing some arrangements for me. Eric Clapton handed Jimmy three acetates which he'd picked up as a favour. Jimmy wrote on my copy 'James Page Music AMB 2201' which was the phone number of Immediate records, owned by Tony Calder & Andrew Oldham. This was when Jimmy was still a session player and Calder had commissioned this work.
David Nicolson, March 2010

The EP was apparently to promote Bananas! On the rear:
"Ce disque est accompagne d'un porte-cles offert par le Comite inter professionnel de la Banane 123 rue de Lille, Paris. Reclamez-le a votre disquaire qui se fera un plasir de vous le remettre."
Thanks to Chris Selby for  providing this image of a genuine key-ring.

Rough translation: "This disc should contain a key-ring courtesy of the International Banana Committee, 123 Rue de Lille, Paris. Ask your record dealer who will be pleased to provide one." 
The hole in the corner of the cover originally had a keyring with a banana dangling from it, hence the rust mark. I don't think anybody has ever seen one, it's the stuff legends are made of. The EP was never made available in the UK. They released it, probably around spring of 1966, in France, Spain and most of Europe and even Argentina but not the UK.

Much appreciation to Markus Bennermo for supplying the original artwork for this release. I must also thank hantsguys on for The Peels labels. 

Promo label

Test pressing

The Juanita Banana EP turns up on Ebay regularly often in the £50 price range.

For more information about Juanita Banana, this makes interesting reading:  The Juanita Banana Phenomenon. Thanks to Chris Selby for the link.