The Peddlers

Owen Mayo, Staffordshire

I have many happy memories of the Peddlers from evenings spent with them at various venues across the Midlands. I played guitar at the time with an outfit called the MJO Trio. Mick Bott Played organ and Jim Richards was on drums - hence MJO - MIck, Jim and Owen. I also did the vocals.

We first heard the boys on Live at the Pickwick and were immediately blitzed. Mick, who had been using a Lowrey Holiday until then swapped it for a Lowrey Heritage. He already had a Leslie so we were part way there. Jim was already a drummer of a similar background to Trevor, having played with various groups for a number of years. I was the compromise in that I played a Gretsch Tennessean guitar, not a bass. Nevertheless, it wasn't long before we were being described as the "Midlands Peddlers".

We first met the Peddlers at the George Hotel in Walsall, around 1967 and were amazed how interested they were to know we played their music. From then on we met them again and again at Roy's invitation at the Opposite Lock Club, The Rum Runner (Birmingham Clubs) and at the Lafayette Club in Wolverhampton where they played every night of the club's opening week to packed houses. We were playing at various places and used to rush over when we had finished to catch the boy's spot. There would be queues all down the street but we went up to the door and were always admitted as "Mr Phillip's Guests". We would watch the show and then get together with Roy mainly because Tab tended to shoot off to spend time with family and Trevor used to do whatever it was Trevor did.

I remember in particular one evening, er...morning that is, at the Lafayette, when the Peddlers had just recorded The Lost Continent and after everyone else had left the Club Roy went through the chord sequence with Mick, showing him the amazing opening chord in particular which faded in with the Leslie rotor sound starting to swell up to a crescendo. I still think that, and Trev's brilliant intro to Smile are among the most exciting pieces of musical imaginative work I have heard in 46 years of playing.

Yes, The Peddlers were an innovative, stunning act to watch and listen too, but more than that they were three great guys to know. I still have their albums (vinyls) in my collection and if by any chance they should happen to read this they may be interested to know their name still crops up in conversation when musicians in the Midlands get together occasionally for a pint and do a little "Gassin".