Guide to British Music of the 1960s

 

The Fairies

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Dane Stephens (born Douglas Robert Ord) - vocals/blues harp, John "Akky" Acutt - lead guitar, Mick "Wimps" Weaver - rhythm guitar/fiddle, John Frederick "Freddy" Gandy - bass guitar, John "Twink" Adler - drums

Twink had previously been in Jimmy Pilgrim & the Strangers and joined Dane Stephens in 1963. Acutt had also been a member of The Strangers. The band evolved into an R&B band reflecting the Mode scene of the time. The band's set was representative of soul, blues and even Jamaican bluebeat. A Decca representative introduced the band to songwriter Geoff Stephens who wrote Anytime at All which became the b-side of the debut single. Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice It's Alright was chosen as the a-side from five songs recorded at Decca's West Hampstead studio.

The band moved to Paddington and provided with a van and a list of bookings all over the UK. By the middle of 1964, they decided to change their name to the Fairies. In mid-1964, Dane Stephens & the Deepbeats were gigging more and had released a single on Decca. Dane Stephens ended up leaving the band as he was jailed following a fatal road accident in which four people were killed. Nick Wymer from Nix Nomads replaced him as vocalist.

The band recognised the growing Mod scene and decided to restyle themselves with new haircuts. One night in August 1965. when playing The Cafe des Artistes the band was being watched by Keith West and Steve Howe of The In Crowd. They asked Twink to join them.

Stephens rejoined the band after leaving prison and Wymer left to and joined former Them members. Brian "Smudger" Smith formerly of Cops 'n' Robbers is reported to have sung with the band at some point. Stephens is said to have left The Fairies in late 1965, joining Cops 'n' Robbers and, possibly, singing lead on their final single It's All Over Now Baby Blue. The Fairies finally split at some point in 1966.

Dane Stephens later recorded under the name Zion de Gallier. Gandy joined Bluesology with Elton Dean, Long John Baldry and Reg Dwight (later Elton John). He later was in Sam Gopal in 1969 and Hookfoot in the 1970s.

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