Confederates 1962 - 1964
The Confederates continued to evolve in 1963/4 and even Peter took an enforced break. Mike Cornish, a more experienced bass player, came along with really "big" speakers and took over the bass. He was however, a frustrated lead guitarist so after a short time he was encouraged to leave and Peter was asked back to help regain the musical sanity of the group.
Peter's father was just about to be demobilised from the army and was looking for a challenge. The boys certainly gave him that and he joined along with a fabulous light blue Bedford Work-a-Bus which had 6 bright red seats, one each and could take all the gear. Bob had to change his name for Peter's sake, (you can't keep your cred' with a dad in the band) so he was christened "SPYKE" and became manager, minder and driver. That was when the fun really started .
The name "Spyke" Millington was as close as you could get to Spike Milligan, the group's hero so that was that.
Spyke took up the management role which included making sure practice night was organised, new numbers polished, finding bookings, and getting them all into as much hire purchase debt as possible.
He was also their "minder" which didn't always work. Ask Peter when you see him about the Irishman - "Christmas Pudding" and the Pier Hotel in Eastbourne - you might get the gory details.
On 25th April 1964, whilst the lads were practicing in the Battle Road Methodist Church Hall, SPYKE came roaring in with his commanding Army voice and shouted, "come on you lot, you're playing on the Pier tonight with the Swinging Blue Jeans" After several changes of underwear, the lads were packed up, loaded and on their way to a support role never to be forgotten.
The reason for the panic was Robert Knights, (Manager of the Pier) had been told that the booked support group, (The Ramblers) weren't able to get to Hastings so an urgent replacement had to be found.
The following week's Hastings Observer gives The Confederates a pretty good write-up - see Hastings Observer editorial on right.