Confederates 1965 - 1967

Dave Saunders left in 1964 to pursue his love of "jazz" and was replaced by Dave Johnson, a real character with a lead lined right foot and a fondness for perfect timing. The Confederates were regularly asked to perform at the Annual Christmas Dinner and Dance for F.J. Parsons (The Observer Offices). The date of the pictures was Christmas 1964. A great night was had by all as the food and drink were free! There were however, a few sore heads the next day.

Pictured (right), is the group with their brand new made to measure suits made specially for the Southampton University dance. Getting Dave Johnson into any suit was a tailors nightmare but the end result was pretty good even if we couldn't get him out of his "hush puppies".

This university gig was teriffic and although unknown at the time, playing in the same room as The Soul Agents (with Rod Stewart as singer) is something to look back on.

 

The picture (right) shows the group playing in St Clements Caves, Hastings in 1965/6. Dave Johnson is hidden at the back but is no doubt having a joke with Paul. Not many "pop groups" had the treat of carrying all the gear into the Caves and out again up the steep passage. It was no fun!

The ideal replacement for Tony was Paul Burton, a very talented musician and singer who was a founder member of probably the best of the early Hastings groups - The Tuxedos then Tony and the Defiants from Eastbourne. Paul brought an outrageous number of chords into the group and a real flair for picking "off centre" numbers to add to the repertoire, e.g. All of Me (Jackie Wilson), as well as Nat King Cole and Peggy Lee numbers.

In 1967 Trevor went "professional" with a group who were off to Germany and departed.

His replacement was Budge Harrison, formerly a pianist with the Talismen. The change forced Paul into the lead guitarist role which he took to without any trouble. Budge on Piano gave the group a totally new feel and an appetite for yet another competition................

I Should Have Known Better -
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This time it was for a Southern Television talent competition called "HOME GROWN". The show was hosted by Bill Pertwee of Dad's Army fame, (The Fire Warden), George Melly (Jazz Singer), Mike Mansfield (TV Producer), Eve Taylor (London Agent) and Johnny Morris (Animal Man)

Regrettably, the four judges were split in their view of the best act.

 

Three wanted The Confederates and one, Johnny Morris, wanted anything but a group to win. He persuaded his panel colleagues to award the evening to a husband and wife piano duo. They were never heard of again - well done Johnny Morris! and "thanks a bunch".

The Confederates broke up in May 1967 when Johnny Conroy moved with his parents to Toronto, Canada followed by Budge some time later.

Peter wasn't out of the music scene for very long and by late 1967 he was playing Bass with Paul Burton and Chris Sayer in SPYKE The name came from Peter's father who was nic-named Spike as soon as he started managing the Confederates. Spike Milligan (similar to Millington) seemed a good idea at the time and lasted right up to his departure of this world in 2007 RIP Spike). 

 

The picture (far right) is of Trev, Peter, Tony and Johnny (pasted in) in 2007. It's about as close a gathering of the Confederates as you can get thanks to Paint-shop, However, see NEWS page for a more up to date meeting of all members in 2017.