1967 End of the story - or is it?  Pirates for a new generation
May The New Pirates have experienced a bit of a drop in bookings since the Guv'nor's death last year, and decide to go their separate ways.  Mick Stewart goes on to join a pre-success Sweet and after making three unsuccessful singles on Parlophone with them decides to leave.  Nick Simper joined a project called Roundabout that evolved into Deep Purple mk1.
   
1968  
  Clem Catinni had previously been unable to respond to a request to check out a new group he was being tipped for.  Peter Grant, who presided over the last months of the Yardbirds, was assisting Jimmy Page compile a new group initially called the New Yardbirds, but which evolved into something else.  Grant had phoned up Catinni whose large workload meant he'd been unable to make contact.  The new group turned out to be no less than Led Zeppelin....
Catinni does go on to many studio sessions over the ensuing years and will play on countless hits, including an almost unbeatable record 42 number one hit recordings.
1969  
April John Wieder steps up to take Ric Grech's place in the Leicester group Family.  The latter had jumped ship to join doomed "supergroup" Blind Faith.
1970  
  First compilation album of Johnny Kidd's material emerged from EMI France.  The 16-track "Johnny Kidd Memorial Album" was a superb collection compiled by members of the Buddy Holly Memorial Society and contained a lip-smacking collection of tracks from across the great man's career, albeit in "bathroom stereo".

The LP would be reissued on CD in the early 2000's as part of a pairing with the follow-up album "Your Cheating Heart.

1971  
September Johnny's idol Gene Vincent is on a tour of England, but is taken ill, thus cancelling the remaining dates of what turns out to be his last tour.  He returned home to his parents in California, but died in hospital of a burst ulcer on Tuesday 12th October, five years and five days after the Kidd passed away.  He was 36.  Like Johnny Kidd, he had been able to hold an audience in the palm of his hand but his talent did not often equate into comparable sales.
  The first-ever UK album of Kidd tracks is released on EMI's budget Starline Label, titled "Shakin' All Over".  The LP contains a fair cross selection across his career and includes the barnstormin' b-side "Doctor Feelgood" which one writer described as probably the ultimate UK Beat track!  Stereo is now the norm, so the L is presented in "reprocessed stereo" for the modern stereo systems, which sounds like it was replayed in a disproportionate bathroom. Half of the tracks would eventually see the light of day in true stereo, including "Doctor Feelgood" which has been issued on European compilations in a twin-track true stereo version which somehow managed to evade all UK releases!
1973  
  "Shakin' All Over" / "A Shot OF Rhythm And Blues" is released on the French Columbia Label.

This year also sees the release of a second French Columbia compilation LP called "1959-66 Your Cheatin' Heart" containing 14 tracks, as a follow-up to 1971's "Memorial Album".  As with that LP this one is in reprocessed stereo but would be presented as in the original mono single releases when paired up for re-releases as half a a twin CD-set with that original LP.

1975  
January Led Zeppelin are rehearsing numbers for a forthcoming tour and record "Shakin' All Over", "Hungry For Love" and "I'll Never Get Over You" at the Metropolitan Sports Centre in Minneapolis.. Along with other songs they would see the light of day on a bootleg (on Brigand Records, Brig 012) entitled "A Tribute To Johnny Kidd And The Pirates".
  Mick Green has left Engelbert Humperdink, the years in Las Vegas making him "lose touch with reality" as everything is laid on in the American gambling capital.  He has recently been backing the zany comedian Freddie Starr and plans are discussed for recording his live show.
  Nick Simper is approached to re-form the last line-up of the (New) Pirates but for various reasons members are unavailable and the plan fizzles out.
  Essex combo Doctor Feelgood emerge on the Pub-Rock scene with a line-up styled identically to Kidd & Co, and play R&B numbers.  Manic guitarist Wilko Johnson, obviously influenced by Mick Green, tells ZigZag magazine that Green "is one of the few guitarists that can claim to have added something original to the vocabulary of the guitar".  Praise indeed.  Their first LP, "Down By The Jetty" is mixed and released in mono, at a time when stereo was ubiquitous and even quadraphonic was being toyed with.
1976  
  Nick Simper and Roger Truth have taken part in the "Johnny Kidd Memorial Show" at the Edwardian Club at the Loughborough Hotel in Brixton.  An amazingly successful evening with fans coming from all over the country leads to the pair discussing the possibility of reforming the last Pirates again.  However, David "Lord" Sutch mentions to them that Mick Green, Johnny Spence and Frank Farley are going to re-form, supposedly for a one-off gig later the same year, again as a tribute to Johnny Kidd.  This and a follow-up gig prove so successful that "The Pirates" (Green Spence and Farley are officially the title holders) continue full-time, playing to packed audiences of enthusiastic fans and release three albums, plus a handful of singles.
1977  
Nineteen seventy-seven sees the release of "Out Of Their Skulls" by the Pirates on Warner Brothers, one side is a live set, the other new studio recordings.  It reaches the middle of the album charts before dropping out again but sets the seal on their reputation as a hot live act.
1978  
  The second UK compilation LP sees twenty tracks in their original mono format appear on "The Best Of..." on EMI's NUT series as compiled by Colin Miles, who has a knack for these things.  The twenty cuts cover perhaps the best selection possible of the stronger cuts, including both sides of the Pirates 1964 'solo' stab at success, "My Babe"/"Castin' My Spell".  With sleevenotes by long-time fan and BBC radio broadcaster Geoff Barker, it is the definitive collection.

Or maybe not, for if you were lucky enough to have a French contact he might have obtained for you a double LP collection of Johnny Kidd and the Pirates' complete recorded and released output, from "Please Don't Touch" to "Send For That Girl".  Not only that, both tracks of the aforementioned Pirates' solo release were included as a complete 45 as a bonus!  With a couple of rare photographs and French/UK sleevenotes, "Johnny Kidd - Rocker" was a desireable collection for any true Kidd fan.  That is if they knew about it on this side of the Channel!  All three French compilations are fairly rare but have been known to make the occasional rare appearances at record fairs, or even on the internet, at sites such as eBay or other private selling sites.

April Alan Wheeler (who actually knew Johnny Kidd) starts up the "Johnny Kidd Appreciation Society" in April with the permission of Jean Heath, Kidd's widow.  The industrious Wheeler knocks out regular, packed newsletters but becomes disillusioned when calls for info and assistance on the part of record companies and broadcasters amounts to not very much at all.  Unable to persevere due to the incessantly rising costs he calls it a day in early 1980.  The newsletters have been preserved and are available as part of the "Treasure" section of this site.
The Pirates release a second Warner Bros album, "Skull Wars".  It fails to chart but that minor detail does nothing to detract from the groups live reputation. 

By now the Pirates are firmly re-established on the Rock scene as one of the hardest rocking acts out and have a devoted core of fans.  In an echo of their days backing Kidd their act proves hard to follow.

1979  
January 1st The third Pirates LP is "Happy birthday Rock 'n' Roll", and is released on the Pye subsidiary label Cube.  (The picture is better than the lat, but only just.  Anyone got a better scan?)  Again another no-charter but good enough to ensure the groups' new lease of life goes on.
February 19th
The Pirates
The Pirates perform on Germany TV's "Rockpalast" show, performing a set of no less than seventeen numbers.  They kick off with "Please Don't Touch", I Can Tell" and "Linda Lu" followed by a string of classic R 'n' B numbers, including "Shakin' All Over".  In fact, this line-up becomes synonymous with this legendary Kidd number that word-of-mouth and even publications state Green as being the guitarist on the original recording.....
1982  
The Pirates wind down their presence and Mick Green especially begins working more with other musicians in their bands.  This is not the end as such: there will be re-issues of their recordings, plus new CD's cut with various personnel, like the equally-hard Johnny Gustafson, ex of Liverpool's Big Three and others.
1986  
October 3rd, Friday To mark the twentieth anniversary of the Johnny's death, a "smashing tribute" was paid to the Kidd by the London Rock 'n' Roll Club, based at the rear of the Olde Cherry Tree Inn in Southgate.  The "Shakin" Pirates of Alan Caddy, Brian Gregg and Clem Catinni played together for the first time in nearly a quarter of a century.  Rock 'n' Roll magazines gave the show rave reviews.

Greatest honour of the evening went to Dave Sampson (who had a hit with "Sweet Dreams" in the early 1960's) who sang vocals, and which led to his appearance at the '87 Weymouth Rock Festival alongside Gene Vincent's famous Blue Caps. 

1999  
September 3rd The Pirates - Mick Green, Johnny Spence and Frank Farley - reconvene after sixteen years at the Grey Horse public house in Kingston-Upon-Thames, for one-off gig.  The trio have lost little of their power and the evening proves to be more than a simple nostalgia trip for those who turn up to watch.  Surprised by the attention, they acquire a manager to organise further "occasional" gigs which includes a short tour to Japan....!  History repeats itself a bit and the Pirates are still performing although now without Frank who had to retire in 2005 due to health problems.
"Land Of The Blind Angel" CD is released, this version of the Pirates featuring: Mick Green (vocals, guitar); B.J. Anders (vocals, bass); Romek Parol (drums).

Underground; Wood In Your Fire; Shattered Glass; Let's Eat; Danger Zone; Land Of The Blind; Wondrous Place; Maybe; Lover And Fighter; Fortune Teller; My Old Radio; Sex On Legs

2000  
"Jukebox Heroes" is a series produced by Paul Perriot that focuses on some of the more influential bands over the years, with a bias toward the early days of Pop.  One edition is given over to the Kidd and his various Pirates line-ups and is quite unique in that a very lively and interesting programme was able to be put together utilising no footage of the band in action as none is known to exist.  Promotional Videos of most entries in the run were released, some were available to buy direct to fans.  Not many were run off of each but individual shows from this series occasionally turn up on eBay for a not too extortionate sum.
2000 is a good year in the Pirates revival.  Of all places, the group find a strong following emerging - in Japan! - where this exclusive 17-track CD is released.  It was recorded live at Shibuya On Air East, Tokyo, on 20th November 2000.
August Alan Caddy dies, aged just 60.  He'd made his last public appearance at a memorable Joe Meek Reunion Concert at Lewisham in 1991 with the rest of the original Tornados who played, inevitably, Telstar.
2005  
The Pirates release their first studio CD proper in eighteen years.  "Skullduggery" includes brand-new takes on some stage favourites such as "Gibson Martin Fender" and "Honey Hush", presented in a highly polished fashion, with the venerable classics "Shakin' All Over" and "Please Don't Touch" also present.  They also tackle some numbers not previously committed to tape, such as "Brand New Cadillac", slightly ironic as there is another "Pirates" CD out (see below).  "Skullduggery" is currently available from Prism Direct on this page.

Brian Gregg, Clem Catinni and Joe Moretti jnr. get together, uniting behind West country vocalist and fervent Johnny Kidd fan Kidd Kane (Arron Kane).  Their appearances are proving popular creating a demand for the CD they have out called "Cabin Down Below" which contains many Kidd classics from Kidd's earlier recording years.  "Cabin Down Below" is available from Raucous Records on this page.

 

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