rockface played quality live music
band was the classic line up - two guitars, bass and drums. Pete Bradley played
lead, John Greatorex rhythm and lead vocals with Martin Hall on bass and Bill
Ellis on drums.
Today of course this type of music is more popular than ever with people going to sixties clubs. But back then things were very different and it was a real struggle. Luckily for us these guys decided to persevere and make some really great music.
Unless you're a top pro outfit or a solo act the music business
can't sustain a normal life style for members of a four piece. And
anyway these guys played ninety percent for love and ten percent for money. It
tends to work out that any money made in these kind of outfits very rarely pays
for buying and upkeep of equipment, sometimes there's enough left over for a drink
and a bag of chips! |
The group was made up a very compatible set of people and so the work was also good fun. There was always something to laugh about in the dressing room. If anyone had a problem everyone shared in sorting it out. The times were really good. There was never a bad performance and audiences couldn't get enough of the live music. It came to the point where no new was needed because promoters had them back for their annual get togethers and the gig book was adequately filled with return bookings.
went really well up until that dreadful day when Bill became ill.
high spot almost every night was when
the band would play Let There Be Drums by Sandy Nelson, a tune that involved a
long and technically tricky drum solo. Bill took it all in his stride, played
the solos perfectly and generally wowed the audiences. He was perfectly modest
about his skill and just used to say It was something I learned when I was
Eventually the illness was found to be more sinister and debilitating and he had to stop playing. The other three carried on for a while, but nothing was the same. It wasn't to do with the dep. drummers that came in, it was more a feeling that the band had lost such an important part that it was permanently crippled.
It ended about eighteen months later when he died of cancer.
anyone who knew Bill Ellis and they'll all say the same,
one ever said,