60s photographs

1960s Dave Aylett Surfer-Singer-Songwriter Part #2

Dave Aylett’s Part #2 continues on from Part #1 Surfing in the 60s.

Part #2 Young Blaydes band 1967-68

Dave Aylett – Rhythm guitar & vocals

Greg Wynne – Bass guitar & lead vocals

Terry Malone – Lead guitar

Michael Byrom – Drums

Victor Kailis – Manager

Mike ‘Gruff’ Reynolds – Roadie

First 45rpm single – Can’t fathom fate and flipside Alone.

These are my recollections of the Young Blaydes.

My music started with getting 3 guitar lessons with Billy Barns after my father giving in to my birthday request of a guitar. I learnt about half a dozen cords got side-tracked with something else and put the guitar under my bed to gather dust. I don’t know what made me take it out and start playing. I think it may have been seeing Rock Around The Clock. Being at an impressionable age standing in front of a mirror training a kiss curl and trying to be a cool looking James Dean type I think may have started it all. I saw movies like The Wild One with leather jacketed heroes as someone I thought it might be fun to be. The wild swings from surfing to girls, cars and music would change with every breath. I started writing songs then because I was not a good reader so instead of learning the words of songs it was easy for me to make up my own words and songs.

I managed to sing and play a large number of some of the worst songs ever performed, but my mum thought they were terrific. Dad knew a Mr Clark senior who recorded all the horse race and trotting meetings and Mr Clark built a sound studio for his son Martin Clark in Murray St. Perth. One day dad introduced me to Martin Clark and Martin was impressed with me. One day he said “there is a concert happening I think you should see it. The acts include the Rolling Stones and Roy Orbison. They are all very new and they have booked at the Capitol Theatre on the 13th Feb 1965. I can get you back stage.” Well I didn’t know what to expect and to be honest I can’t remember much of the sounds except that is was distorted and loud. Then I was dragged through a crowd and told “This is Mick Jagger.” I held out my hand, Mick looked at it and continued talking with some star struck girls. There I was introduced to Mick Jagger. Not impressed!

Soon after in Martin Clarks Recording Studio we listened to recordings and discussed various styles of songs. Martin suggested I should write some songs Roy Orbison style about crying and that stuff. Well the first few were shocking. We even recorded some on the old 78rpm speed cellular with the newly formed group The Times. The Times were told that the happening scene was in U.K. So they decided to work on a cruise ship and eventually end up in England. Well l don’t know what happened but I was told they got as far as South Africa and there was some trouble. I don’t know what the trouble was, but they soon returned to Perth. It was a plan that once they arrived in U.K. Martin Clark would know more about the scene, advise me and I might join them.  That was all off now.

At about this time Victor Kailis and I became surfing friends. We both enjoyed all the music at that time and one thing lead to another and Vick suggested we form a band with Vick as band manager. We advertised in the newspaper that we were holding auditions in a conference room above the old Swanbourne Theatre. The response was low volume but high quality. Out of that we found Greg Wynne (bass guitar) and Mike Byron (drums). These 2 guys were great mates and had a good understanding of creating a solid foundation for a band to build on. We also found the best of a bunch of guitar players to be Graham Flintoff. Both Vick and I felt the combination was acceptable but there seemed to be something wrong. Both Greg and Mike felt we could do better with the lead guitarist. Mike and Greg raved about a young and brilliant guitarists named Terry Malone. We arranged a meeting and from the get go we knew we had something. Vick didn’t like it, but he was given the job of telling Graham Flintoff we were letting him go. Graham didn’t like it, but it had to be done. Sorry Mate! Well straight away we needed a place to practice.

Image: 1971 Young Blaydes manager Victor Kailis & associates appearing in Victor James Entertainment advt.

1971 Victor James Entertainment advt - West Country Surf mag img246 cropped

I had done my homework and I had my eye on a disused butcher shop in North Street Swanbourne that had been vacant for some time. I told the guys and showed it to them and decided to phone up the telephone number on the to-let sign on the window. The property was owned by an old retired guy in Cottesloe. I went around to see him with my idea and he was concerned with the neighbours and whether he would get noise complaints. I convinced him that with the loudest instrument in the band, the drums, if they were set up in the disused fridge and we were to carpet the walls and floors with second hand carpets I bought with the help from my dad from Gregson Auctions in the shop front and with time restrictions, we would not disturb any neighbours. Well this old guy and I got on like a house on fire. He collected and polished gemstones and once he was happy with the conditions after the first 2 weeks rent he let us practice there for free. Our land lord said he would leave the to let sign on the shop window in case he got a paying customer. The shop had been vacant for years so that didn’t worry us at all. It was terrific and we set to developing the type of sound that made us all happy and Vick started telling his friends and relations, some had nightclubs and hotel interests, about his HOT NEW BAND that once polished in performance would HIT THE SCENE.

It was Xmas when we were almost ready. We had a strong line up of copy songs and we had in mind what we wanted to record with original songs which I had written. We all know words and music is nothing without arrangements. A successful arrangement must have an attitude with a HOOK and this takes band member’s time to develop harmoniously. By New Year we were nearly there. We had an absolutely outstanding NEW YEARS EVE PARTY. New Year’s Day we were still rocking at about noon. The neighbours instead of complaining joined us and were all very supportive. It was TIME. We were stoked! Straight away Vick was arranging the gigs and took us to a Greek tailor (family friend) and had made matching navy blue Beatle style suits, white fancy shirts, high heel, winkle picker boots, fake gold cuff links and the name The Young Blaydes logo on Mikes drum kit. We looked, for Perth in those days, a SHARP OUTFIT.

We were originally going to record on the Clarion label and use Martin Clark’s studio and equipment until we were approached by a sound recording technician who worked for 6KY. Although the equipment was ancient this guy knew the business and had a great ear for sound. He translated in to what we said we wanted and helped with sound affect echo etc. Then in about 3 or 4 nights we put down tapes and produced a 45rpm single. Can’t Fathom Fate and flip side Alone. We were flat out from the get go and soon developed a strong following with the opening of some clubs like THE TOP OF THE TOWN the pubs / clubs and some nights doing as many as 3 gigs. We had only one roadie. His name was GRUFF. He would sometimes get help from friends in order to get free entry into the venues. He was a great guy and was a good friend of Mike our drummer who had the most gear to cart and set up. All in all a tight group of solid friends with a direction.

It was great. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday surf/practice Thursday, Friday, Saturday work and sleep where ever on Sunday. Sometimes getting home Sunday night. Dad probably wasn’t sure about what he’d help to start but mum was proud. That mattered to me. The offers came thick and fast. Some of the gigs were amazing. One of a couple that I remember was at the old engineering works on the corner of Milligan St and Wellington St. Perth. The university students and friends were the organisers. Our stage was on about 20 feet high on about a 20 foot X 20 foot disused steel platform. Surprisingly the acoustics were brilliant, however Mike’s drums kept sliding away from him on the steel flooring. Until the first break Greg and I took turns in stopping the bass drum from moving forward with our feet while still carrying out a performance. During a short break Gruff our roadie secured the drums. From memory it was a Bonny and Clyde fancy dress fundraiser. It was a credit to the organisers and the encores were so demanding we played it felt like 8 hours solid. What a blast!

It was a short highlighted career. Nightly blissfully careering through group fan girl traffic was outstanding. Lots of sex was the currency. Then group members begun to become steady with special girlfriends and before long arrangements were needing to accommodate the band members steady’s. My girlfriend and later my wife told me that our manager Vick told her that he would break her arm, if she was to interfere with my career. Vick would never say something like that seriously, but with my then girlfriend it struck a nerve. Suddenly the end was in sight. The band was burning out and we couldn’t keep up the pace and the bitching. Vick did a great job and we did a pilot T.V. show for Guest Cool Drinks. We worked really hard setting down miming to our music (nothing was live those days) and recording a song for a great voice (Diane Zapher, hope I got the spelling right) who had a crush on Vick. When we failed to get the gig and lost it to Johnny Young we imploded.

The band became a NIGHTMARE to manage. Musically none of us were close to what we were. Together we were something. It was like something that had just begun died. I felt sorry for Vick, Greg, Terry, Mike and most of all myself. I got married and put my nose to the grind stone for 25 years. From then till now it has been fun and fulfilling. The future looks great and one of the highlights of every year now, the weekend before Easter, is the Yallingup Board Club reunion. I feel something special is happening when I walk into the Caves House Bar and see my mates smiling faces turn and say “DAVO! How ya go-n mate?” What a crew! I love em all.

Bonus song lyrics by Dave Aylett.

I was once asked by a newly married young bloke who was having trouble. “What is the best way of getting along with women?

I thought about this question for some time and I thought I would put NEW WORDS to a song sung by Old Franky Boy. “I DID IT MY WAY!”

‘He Did It Her Way’

Girls, I’ve had a few,

But then again,

Too few to mention,

I did what most blokes do,

I saw it through,

Without a mention,

To think I did all that,

And now I say,

In a VERY shy way,

Oh no, no, no, not me,

I did it her way.

For what is a man,

What has he got,

When she says jump,

And he does not,

She says the words,

He always fears,

He runs away,

And drinks more beers,

He takes the blows,

God only knows,

He’ll do it, HER WAY.

He’s lived,

He’s laughed and cried,

He’s done his share,

Of win and loosing,

The things that he has tried,

And haven’t worked,

Were all his choosing,

She’s planned,

His charted course,

And kept his wheels,

On the highway,

And more,

Much more than this,

He did it……. HER WAY.

For what is a man,

What has he got,

When she says jump,

And he does not,

She says the words,

He always fears,

He runs away,

And drinks more beers,

He takes the blows,

God only knows,

He’ll do it, HER WAY.

Photo: 2016 Yallingup Board Club ‘60s reunion at Caves House. L-R Peter Dyson (former lead singer The Banned) and Dave Aylett (singer/songwriter The Young Blades).

2016 Yalls Peter Dyson & Dave Aylett - Loz Smith pic IMGP0796

Click on this link to view 1960s Greg Wynne and ‘The Young Blaydes’ Band


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