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The Beatstalkers

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Formed in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1962, the Beatstalkers originally comprised Davie Lennox (vocals), Eddie Campbell (guitar), Alan Mair (bass) and ‘Tudge’ Williamson (drums). Within weeks Ronnie Smith (rhythm guitar) had been added to the line-up. By 1964 the Beatstalkers had become a leading attraction, specializing in cover versions of hitherto obscure soul and R&B songs. Such was their popularity, the group was dubbed ‘Scotland’s Beatles’ and in 1965 an open-air concert in Glasgow’s George Square was abandoned when fans rioted. The Beatstalkers then secured a recording contract with Decca Records. ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ ’Bout My Baby’, ‘Left Right Left’ and ‘A Love Like Yours’ followed in succession, but although worthwhile in their own right, these records failed to capture the group’s true mettle. The Beatstalkers moved to London in 1967 where they secured a residency at the famed Marquee Club. However, despite switching to CBS Records, the group was still unable to achieve a major breakthrough, in part because they relied on outside material. Their new manager Ken Pitt suggested that the Beatstalkers record songs by his best-known charge, David Bowie. Three of his compositions, ‘Silver Tree Top School For Boys’, ‘Everything Is You’ and ‘When I’m Five’, were released in succession, although only the first title was issued as an a-side. The experiment was neither an artistic nor commercial success, and, as Alan Mair later recalled, ‘It was pitiful to watch Davie Lennox rehearse the songs in an English accent.’ The Beatstalkers split up in 1969 when their equipment was stolen. Late-period drummer Jeff Allen joined East Of Eden, while Mair was later a member of the critically acclaimed Only Ones.

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