Roy Weard - A Musical History Pt1

The Early Stuff

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So lets start at the beginning - as good a place to set off from I suppose.

My early forays into the music scene were in the mid sixties. In an attempt to gain the attention of a girl I had my first ever 'big thing' for I learned to play the guitar. This led to my making a series of appearances at folk clubs and places like that. At the time this was 'the' scene with musicians like Roy Harper, Al Stewart, John Martyn and many others travelling around and playing in the back rooms of pubs for £15.00 a night. Although I never made it to the stage of actually getting paid for any of this I did manage to play a lot of venues and gain the attention of the girl. She was called Sheila Harrigan and even wound up singing with me (see pictures below)

Sheila and Roy performing at a folk club in Barking in 1967

Towards the end of the sixties someone played me 'Freak Out' by Frank Zappa.  I had been pretty unimpressed by most of the rock bands until then but this was different. I was immediately taken by the complexity and humour of that album and I starting trying to get a band together. The first few attempts were semi-folk outfits of varying degrees of  proficiency but the first real band was 'Stranger Than Yesterday' so named after a chance remark at a rehearsal by Alan Grey, guitarist. Details of who shuffled in and out of the band are sketchy after all these years and only one photo of that band exists. The line up at that time was Alan Grey - guitar, vocals/ Paul Mortimer - drums/ Paul Docherty - bass and Roy Wood - guitar, vocals. One of the highlights of the band's career was supporting the Pink Floyd at the 'Fishmonger's Arms' in Wood Green where the, then, bass player , Paul Docherty, set fire to his bass by pouring petrol over it. . The petrol ran down his arm setting that alight and he dropped the guitar into the audience where it set fire to someone's fur coat. I always thought this coat belonged to the wife of Phil May, singer from the Pretty Things but she has since denied it so I don't know now. Maybe someone else who was there knows and can tell me.

The Fishmongers Arms Poster

Another was supporting the Pretty Things at Rush Green Technical College where Twink, attempted an act of coitus on the drum kit using a conga drum. He was later seen leaping from the speakers into the audience. We played in a lot of venues, mostly small rock clubs, until Alan left and we drifted apart.

Stranger Than Yesterday

At the end of that band I moved on and hooked up with a whole new bunch of people. Out of this came 'Grope' The next page will give you the story on that band.