JET HARRIS AND THE HORSE

In the early days, around 1969, we (that is Pete Ballam, Rob Haines and Tony Bronsdon) were in a band with Jet Harris (ex bass player and member of The Shadows).

We were managed, at the time, by Vince Silver, who procured gigs and much needed rehearsal rooms, so that we could develop our material. The West Howe Boys Club provided such a venue and, one day, while we were all set up and waiting for Jet to turn up, suddenly, all hell broke loose.

Jet had decided to arrive in style – on horseback! Our jaws dropped, as Jet’s horse clattered across the valuable Parquet floor, leaped over the ping-pong table, lunged forward and bit a chunk out of my favourite leather jacket. Once everyone, including the horse, had recovered from the trauma and settled down, we got on with what we were supposed to be doing.

The gods had clearly decided that we hadn’t had enough drama for one day and, unexpectedly, during the rehearsal, I found myself in the rather nasty scenario of being electrocuted – unable to speak or move and welded to the floor. Rob Haines (turned superhero) immediately spotted my predicament, kicked his drum-kit out of the way, kicked away the offending mic-stand and saved my life. Apparently, I came round 10 minutes later, and, in the style of any true Englishman, demanded a cup of tea! The forthcoming miracle beverage revived me sufficiently, so that we could all carry on with the rehearsal…

The footnote to this story is that the band was summarily dismissed from the venue due to the wreckage of the Parquet floor and I wasn’t too keen to return, anyway, because the electrics, in the building, weren’t earthed properly.

Jet Harris was later replaced by John Bavin, and Bram Stoker was formed