Guide to British Music of the 1960s


The Birds

Biography | Discography | Web Links | Books


Vocals- Alistair McKenzie, guitar- Ronnie Wood, guitar- Tony Monroe, bass- Kim Gardner, drums- Pete McDaniels

The Thunderbirds were formed at art college in 1964 by the five members who all came from West Drayton, Middlesex. The original line-up was Alistair McKenzie on vocals, Ronnie Wood on guitar, Tony Monroe on guitar, Kim Gardner on bass and Pete McDaniels on drums. They later shortened their name to simply The Birds and their style of Motown-influenced was very popular on the pub and club circuit. They signed to Decca Records and made three singles in 1964-1965.

They had two claims to fame during their brief career. Firstly, they starred in a horror film called The Deadly Bees. They also had a legal battle with The Byrds over the use of the name. The band released four singles including the Motown cover Leaving Here. This was later covered by Motorhead whose Lemmy had been a roadie for the Birds. 

The group split in 1966. Kim Gardner joined The Creation and he was later followed in this group by Ronnie Wood. A later single was released called Say Those Magic Words and was credited to The Bird's Birds.

A vinyl album released in 1997 contained w a wealth of Birds tracks including demo versions of two songs. The sound quality is a bit "iffy" in places.

Kim Gardner later formed Ashton Gardner & Dyke. Ronnie Wood carried on playing guitar with a few little-known groups including the Jeff Beck Group (on bass), The Faces and The Rolling Stones. Kim Gardner later owned a bar and restaurant in Hollywood called The Cat & The Fiddle.

Kim Gardner died of cancer in autumn 2001.

Ali McKenzie was fronting The Ali Mac Band in 2012 onwards including playing the relaunched Ealing Blues Club.

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