Jynx Pack - She's In Love / I Can't Make Up My Mind (Mercury 72501. 1965)
Ken James Kindly provide some information on the previously mysterious group
Round about 1959 a mate of mine told me about a local group formed by an old school acquaintance of mine called Pat Webb. I'd just taken up the guitar - a crappy old second-hand acoustic with a half-inch gap between the strings and the fretboard I got from Pioneer Records in Romford, Essex, I ended up with a left hand grip like a wrestler.
They were practising over a pub in South Ockendon, so I looked in, we hit it off, and after a few changes in personnel we became The Spidermen, playing the local youth clubs and dance halls around the
We stayed together probably eighteen months then split. Lead singer Mick Kelly formed a duo with brother John, drummer Tony Major became a singer, bassist Roland disappeared into the ether and Pat and I went our separate ways. Second Phase A couple of years later I was flat sharing in Romford with a couple of mates and ran into Pat playing in a local pub with a group called Johnny Saint and the Sinners. He later told me the drummer was going on holiday and they had a gig, would I stand in on the drums! I'd never played drums in my life, so of course I said like, yeah, no problem.
This introduced me to the rest of the group - watching me attempt to set up a drum kit, which was like a Chinese puzzle to me - I got a few dodgy looks but the gig eventually went okay. I later stood in on guitar while Pat went to
Again there was a few personnel changes, 'Johnny Saint' went, to heaven probably, and that brought in lead singer Billy Cox. The lead guitar left and that brought me in to join the other three - Pat Webb, Paul Defriend on bass and Fred Good on drums. All that was left was the name, and it was the one I think I came up with that stuck - Jynx Pakk, as it was originally painted on Fred's bass drum. No 'The'. Looks like the record company changed it to The Jynx Pack, less ..er foreign sounding?
On the Road
Billy Cox's influence as the singer led us down the well beaten R&B track (who wasn't then?) and around 1964-5 we did gigs from Nottingham to
Billy, short, sweet and blond, tried hard to ignore the little guy in a long coat, hands in pockets, who stood in front of him the whole evening. Bill never came to the next gig at the Alphabet. Neither did the wives and girlfriends. Or the manager. Seven foot tall guy kept eyeing us with deep suspicion. 'There were five of you last time!' he accused us. (He was paying for five, as he saw it) We denied it. In a friendly way, of course, standing protectively close to our equipment.
We had a lot of fun, quite a few laughs. Especially in pub venues where the inevitable drunk would stand in front of the stage and make disparaging comments. Like: 'Call yourselves a fucking group!' or 'Call yourself a fucking singer!' and other intelligent remarks, while we all waited to see if Pat's short fuse would blow and cost him another Les Paul Gibson.
The other fun thing was driving the van. That was me - the only (willing) driver. I lived in Romford town, Billy and Fred in Harold Hill, Pat in
The Big Time?
My memories of the group in that era are a bit hazy from this distance but I remember some of the high spots. I think via Peter Harrison we got an invite to some sort of celebrity bash in
Did a few spots at the Noriek club in Seven Sisters Rd. Tottenham, supporting The Who. Good gig that. We were part-way through a great R&B number when one of their roadies pulled out the plug and we went dead! The cable stretched across the stairs at the side of the stage and was in the way of THE WHO. Bastards! Saw them back stage at the interval, manager handing round pills, Daltry swigging booze from a small bottle and offering it to us. But what an act they were. Moon dumping his kit out of their boxes crashing onto the stage, dealing out the cymbals like a pack of cards, you just knew they were different.
The bit the crowd loved most was the bit we couldn't believe. Having scrimped and saved and prostituted ourselves to acquire a couple of Gibsons and a Fender bass, we watched as Pete Townshend smashed his Rickenbacker arse-end into his Marshall amp then swung it like a pick axe into the floor - then jumped on it! We couldn't believe it. Then he calmly turns round, opens a case and pulls out another! We kept a very close eye on our own gear after that.
The next high spot of course was THE RECORDING STUDIO.
For a while we all felt like fame and fortune were swinging slowly into view. I don't remember too much about who was involved beyond the studio but we heard the name Quincy Jones and Mercury Records being mentioned which got us excited. I think they sent an A&R man, Eugene Howe?, to oversee some of the sessions.
Over the weeks we did two tracks - no-one said anything about any more - that were close to complete when the bad stuff hit. I parked the van outside the studio, we unloaded all the equipment and stacked it just inside the door of the vestibule, then went for a bun and a coffee up the road. When we got back Pat and I couldn't believe it - our guitars were missing. I think we checked to see no-one had taken them upstairs, but we knew, really - they'd been nicked. Two Les Paul Gibsons. Probably couldn't carry the Fender as well, lucky for Paul.
But that did for me. I remember borrowing a guitar for the next gig but it wasn't the same. Also I hadn't finished paying for the Gibbo, let alone afford a new one - I couldn't help remembering the cavalier way Townshend had dispatched a Rickenbacker. And besides I was becoming more and more pissed off with the music business. There was always this sense that stuff was going on and we were the last to know, or not be told at all. So I left the group. Fed up and disillusioned.
And that was the end of my involvement in the record and in the group. Apparently they didn't replace me and they just fizzled out and went their separate ways. Paul and Fred I never saw again but I bumped into Billy a few years later. He'd married, taken up the saxophone and seemed pretty happy. I kept in touch with Pat, and 1970 found him playing a regular weekend pub gig in Rayleigh. Their bass player wanted to leave, so I thought, what the hell, and joined as bass player for the next five years, and had a great time.
The band didn't know this 45 was released. Lead singer Bill Cox went on to sing for the The Lloyd Alexander Real Estate who released one 45 on President - "Watch' gonna do (When your baby leaves you)/Gonna live again (President PT 157) - and later (minus Bill) morphed into popular progressive outfit Audience, who released several albums and singles on Charisma.