- the official LOVE AFFAIR website - Biography part 3: 1974-1975

The Love Affair Mk 5.1 | 5.2

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(1974 - 1975)

back row from left:
Mick Wheeler (vocals)
George Williams (guitar)
Bill Ball (bass)

middle row: Barry Barney (keyboards)

front row: Phil Chesterton (drums)

- George Williams was replaced by Dave Wendels

Love Affair Mk 4.3 split in late 1973. In 1974, Sid Bacon passed away, and Maurice Bacon took over his management company. He approched promoter Barry Collings for a ready made band to do the outstanding Love Affair gigs. They went to see a British band called Jo Jo Gunne. The line up was Mick Wheeler (vocals), George Williams (guitar - later replace by Dave Wendels ex Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers), Billy Ball (bass), Phil Chesterton (drums) and Barry Barney (keyboards). They were given a new Transit and £40.00 a week each. This line up lasted 15 months as a Love Affair, with Mo Bacon as manager, doing tours of England with the Swinging Blue Jeans, plus dates in Sweden, Hungary, Holland, The Channel Islands and France. The end of this band came when they were contracted to support the Bay City Rollers in Ireland! They all went their different ways, Bill Ball bought a Country Inn in Mid Devon England, and is still there today with his wife Ria and three grown up children.

Click on the links below for biographies of the other band members:

Mick Wheeler | George Williams | Barry Barney | Phil Chesterton | Dave Wendels

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Mick Wheeler

Mick grew up in Fulham, London, becoming a professional singer at a very tender age with The Jaywalkers in 1961. He toured with the likes of Billy Fury and Eden Kane, later on in the sixties he sang with the soul band Jo Jo Gunne, a very popular act on the London club scene. Mick eventually moved north to become a sheep farmer at Ravenscar, Robin Hood's Bay. In more recent years he has taken up playing the double bass at which he excels in the rockabilly style of slapping the strings. He currently plays with The Inferno's rockabilly band and a hillbilly outfit called The Red River Wranglers.

Dave Wendels

Dave Wendels first band of note was Johnny Harris & The Shades. He joined The Crescents around July 1961, playing with drummers Mickey Waller and Mitch Mitchell (Georgie Fame, Jimi Hendrix ect.) Dave left The Crescents in May 1962 to replace Bernie Watson temporarily in Lord Sutch & The Savages and then he joined Jackie Lynton & The Jury. In early 1963 Wendels again replaced Watson, this time in Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers. Roy Young also joined the Rebel Rousers around this time and Dave and Roy they became good friends. Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers played with the Beatles in Hamburg and also toured Ireland, Scotland and Wales with Roy Orbison, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, Gerry and The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer, The Ronettes and Martha and The Vandellas. While Dave was in the band, Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers made the UK top 10 with the 1964 single "One Way Love" (Parlophone R 5173). Dave also played on the bands self-titled debut album, "Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers" (Parlophone PMC 1242) from 1965 (Dave is pictured standing behind Bennett's left shoulder on the album cover - see photo below, left).

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Upon exiting Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers in 1965, Dave landed a job with Scottish singer Lulu's band The Luvvers. He didn't record with Lulu but the band (without Lulu) released one solo single in 1966, "House on the Hill" (Parlophone R 5459) shortly before they broke up. Dave next played with Tom Jones & The Squires for a year before joining The Crew, a soul band fronted by Howie Casey and he toured Europe with them in 1967. That year he also recorded an album entitled "Soul Sounds" (EMI Columbia SX 6158) with Carlo Little and Nicky Hopkins billed as Soul Survival.

Dave joined Jo Jo Gunne in 1968 (see separate write-up). By August/September 1969, Wendels had departed Jo Jo Gunne to join the Roy Young Band. Howie Casey also joined the Roy Young Band around the same time and the duo wrote and produced the single "Granny's Got A Painted Leg" for the self-titled "Roy Young Band" album (RCA SF8161). Dave also wrote the 1971 single "Wild Country Wine" for the band's second album "Mr. Funky" (MCA MKPS 2022), but by then Howie Casey had left.

In 1973 Dave joined Hurricane which included pianist Freddie 'Fingers' Lee, drummer Carlo Little and bassist Stuart Colman. Other musicians involved with the band included Dick Middleton and Matthew Fisher. Their single "Mama Was A Honky Tonk Woman" had good reviews and they got signed to Decca, but did not manage to achieve further success than that. Dave Wendels wrote the B-side "Shakin' An' Breakin'" with Freddie 'Fingers' Lee and got Howie Casey to play sax on it (Decca F 13435). The band also recorded an album for Decca which never got released (update April 2013: listen to the album on the Carlo Little YouTube page).

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For the next couple of years Dave worked with Love Affair. Then in 1978 he once more teamed up with Carlo Little for a BBC show backing Frankie Reid and Dana Gillespie which was released on the album "It's only rock'n'roll, vol. 2" (Super Beeb BEMP004). 1978 was also the year he moved to USA where he still resides, "because I ran out of places to play in England".

Dave released a solo single in California in 1981, "Flyin' Saucers Rock & Roll" b/w "Red Hot". The single featured vocalist Lynda Peace and was recorded during sessions for Lynda's album "50 / 50s" which Dave also played on. The LP and single were privately pressed and only available locally.

In the early 80s Dave also recorded two albums with rockabilly artist Alan Clark, "She Just Tears Me Up" (Leap Frog LFR-1002) and "Alan Clark and his Rock-A-Billy Band" (Leap Frog Records), playing alongside Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana and Glen Glenn among others. Dave and Alan also played on Glenn's 1984 album "Everybody's Movin' Again" (ACE CH105), recorded in 1982. Around the same time Dave Wendels also played on Steve Moore's album "Whole Lotta Rockin'" (the pianist with the Alan Clark Band).

In the early 90s he formed the band Rockability with Dave Duport and reportedly created a major serge in the Rockabilly movement and club activity in Riverside County, CA.

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Dave kept a low public profile for the next decade but surfaced in 2005 with a solo album called "Zen Rockabilly". The album is still available (as of April 2013) from Dave at gundown@juno.com.

Bringing the Dave Wendels story up to date, here is Dave (by e-mail): "As to what I'm doing these days, it's totally different! I have always loved standards and big band swing and I sing with a 13-piece band as well as doing solo shows [vocals with big band tracks]. I haven't played regular guitar for a long time but I am starting up again in a rhythm capacity with our live band, so that should be fun. Once in a great while, I'll do a short instrumental set though, using a 6-string bass and baritone guitar."

......... Dave's session work is often credited to Dave Wendells. Says Dave: "and yes, it is Wendels, constantly miss-spelled throughout my career...one L, one S!". For more information on Dave Wendels, be sure to check out Beverly Paterson interview from 2008. .........

Barry Barney

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Barry Barney played in the band Smile in 1977:

Ronnie Clugston (guitar), Brian Todd (bass), Norman Purdy (RIP-vocals), Barry Barney (RIP - keyboards) and Norman (drums)

with thanks to www.irish-showbands.com