Pete Staples - Biography
In the late fifties I was in the 2nd Andover Boys Brigade Company as drum major. At this time I also played acoustic guitar and sang with two other lads when not marching. In the adjacent hall was a 'proper' band. The Emeralds, and one day their singer Bruce Turner approached me as he was leaving them and starting his new band The Senators and asked me if I would like to join them
The new line up was Arthur Smart. me, John Walker and Bruce Turner
Practise night was in my mum's front room or Arthur's girlfriend, Yvonne parents's cattle shed! We played pubs, ballrooms and clubs in my first proper band.
One night at Boscombe, Bruce produced a Fender USA Strat, we were in awe of it's beauty and sound. However, this was short lived as, at the end of the gig he told us he was leaving to join 'The Trendsetters.
After trying to form another band, and even considering joining The Merchant Navy, Chris Britton approached me and asked if I would like to play Bass in his band. I told him "I play rhythm not Bass". His reply was that Dave Glover the outgoing bass player will show you what to do!! (Thanks Dave for the loan of your bass). We were called The Ten Feet Five..
When that group finally split up I found myself in the familiar position of not gigging and not knowing what to do with myself.
Our manager Lance Barratt and Stan Phillips, the manager of another group called The Troggs had the same problem with people leaving both groups. They suggested, (maybe in desperation), that we join forces. So Chris, me, Reg and Ronnie started practicing together with the Ten Feet Fives' gear and The Troggs name on the drum kit.
The story of The Troggs and songs like Wild Thing are well documented everywhere, so I will not bore you with it here,,,,,
After three years I got married to a girl I'd been going out with whilst in The Senators. Returning from our honeymoon I was told after three years and, maybe, a thousand gigs I was not wanted in the band anymore. My pay off would be the B side of the next single and three month's wages.
In the late nineties John Walker, who I hadn't seen since the sixties phoned me saying he'd bought a drum kit and wanted to get back together. With a new lead guitarist, Charlie Porter, the re-established 'Ten Feet Five' (the old codgers) were back on the road again. We had some great laughs.
My son, Leo was learning the guitar so I started my own band, The Wild Things'. We had many changes, sax player, keyboard players, 2 lead guitars and 2 drummers. Apart from one of the lead guitarists who let me down and got blind drunk, I enjoyed their company and lasting friendships,
'The Troggs' at my old school, Andover Boys' Secondary Modern, Fund Raising Day (for their new swimming pool) in 1967. They raised about £600.00.
Who knew? Who were the guilty parties? A wonderful evening surrounded by friends and family!