Adrian’s first band experience was with the TROUBADORS, a band formed from kids mainly from Sanford Street School. They went to Aunt Dot’s (Dorothy Sprittles) for guitar lessons in her apartment above the music shop in Farringdon Road. Adrian can still picture the clouds of smoke in her upstairs room, and the cigarette burns in her clothes! He also remembers that she bought a Guild ‘push button’ semis acoustic guitar, which was a lot of money back then. The band only played instrumentals, as nobody wanted to sing!
The band members were, CLIVE GEORGE; BROCK SMART; PETE COUSINS; BRIAN LEWIS, and Adrian. This was back in 1962, and they did some gigs at the Mechanics Institute on Saturday nights.
Adrian then joined the ZODIACS, which were the Walcot Boy’s Club band, but he can’t remember who approached him to join the band or the names of any members except the drummer, KEITH BAILEY, who Adrian thinks ‘went on to better things’. When Adrian left the ZODIACS, his best friend STEVE BRASS took over from him on Bass.
He then auditioned with CAROL JACKSON & THE AVENGERS, and got the job, taking over from KEITH PANTING. He was told that he had to buy a Fender Precision and a Vox AC30 Bass amp, which he did (the Fender, and the Vox, were brand new from Kempsters). They were £120.00 pounds each and cost Adrian £2.00 pounds a week on the HP. This was around 1964 he believes, and the band had a lot of work, thanks to Carol’s good looks, and stage presence, especially when playing American Air Force bases.
ROY BARNETT was dating CAROL JACKSON, and they decided to break away from the AVENGERS, and with, MICK MASTERSON formed CANDIE-‘N’-COOKIES.
Adrian decided to stay with BOB O’DELL and they formed the ROOSTERS with GRAHAM NULTY; JEFF MCCORMICK and MICK BREWER ex SONICS singer, lead guitarist and guest writer at essay writing service. They did well as a band opening for ‘The Who’ at Hereford University, and a couple of gigs with ‘Alexis Korner’s Blues Band’ and the ‘Mojos’.
He thinks the ROOSTERS broke up and were then reformed by MICK BREWER in 1966, and was asked to join ALL THINGS BRIGHT by MIKE GREENLAND and KIM AYRES. They also recruited drummer ROBIN HABGOOD (ex DANDYLIONS), and stayed together until 1971,with just one change of lead singer when Kim left Swindon and was replaced by BILL ETSON. Later Kim returned to Swindon, and the old line up was back together again.
Adrian had an offer from MERV GILBERT (of THE MERV GILBERT SOUND) and joined him in 1972 after All Things Bright had disbanded. He was the youngest band member in what was a 5 piece, with drums, organ, sax trumpet and Adrian on bass.
He left Merv in 1974 and didn’t play again until 1979 when a chance meeting with JOHN HILLIER (ex HIGH ON THE HOG and the son of PHIL HILLIER, trombonist with the JOHNNIE STILES BAND), got me back to playing. John formed SIDEWINDER with Adrian, MICK WAREHAM and DAVE KITCHING. They went professional in 1980 for two years then split.
He decided to stay with John and then formed a duo called DUECE, later they were joined by COYLE HEDGES on lead guitar. The band had great harmonies and became very popular locally. They then formed another country band named SWINDLER which later became CACTUS JACK.
The final band which JOHN HILLIER and Adrian formed WAS SPECS, because they all wore glasses! This included MIKE GREENLAND and DAVE DAVIES, again great harmony, doing 60’s stuff, and the good old four piece, three guitars and drums!
This article is based upon emails and other information provided by Adrian Pickett in August 2011.