Had a phone call just before Christmas, from Bill Bonney, the bass player with Shane Fenton & The Fentones, calling from Ontario, Canada !!

A smashing guy telling me about his times with the band, and I thought it would be nice to do a little tribute page to himself and the band, so here goes....

                                            Above, is a picture of all the lads -from L to R

We have Bill Bonney on bass:Tony Hinchcliffe on drums; Jerry Wilcock  on lead guitar;Mick Eyre rhythm guitar and Shane Fenton, lead vocals. 

The story begins in the early 60's when Mansfield's top band was Johnny Theakston & The Tremeloes.

Like the Beatles, their early influence was in skiffle. They changed their name to Shane Fenton and The Fentones.
They sent a recording of theirs to the BBC and were offered an audition for Saturday Club.
Sadly, a few days before the audition, Theakston (Shane) died from rheumatic fever at the age of 17.

Theakstones mother wanted the band to carry on and keep the name and Bernard William Jewry became Shane Fenton, (who was roadying for them at the time) and they went ahead with the audition. They passed the audition and a recording contract  Parlophone Records was made out.

In April 1963, Shane Fenton split from the Fentones, to go solo, later re-emerging as Alvin Stardust.

T  H  E     F  E  N  T  O  N  E  S

The Mexican / Lover's Guitar                                                                    
Parlophone R4899 - 1962

The Breeze And I
/ Just For Jerry                                                             
Parlophone R4937 - 1962

The Breeze And I (undubbed version)
See-For-Miles SFM CM102 (CD)

Mick's Tune
/ Gringo / Take Five                                                  
Instrumental Diamonds, Sequel Records NEXCD149 (CD)

/ The Mexican                                                               
Instro Beat, Legacy Sounds UK LSCD001 - 2008 (CD)
The Fentones (Jerry Wilcock - lead guitar, Mick Eyre - rhythm, Bill Bonney - bass, and Tony Hinchcliffe - drums) obtained a record contract of their own and cut their first single on the 8th February 1962 at EMI's Abbey Road Studios.
The Mexican was the A-side and the disc managed a respectable No.41 in the charts in April 1962.
The gentler B-side,
Lover's Guitar, was a complete contrast to the frantic rhythm of The Mexican and was a likeable melody that the group had discovered on Billy Mure's 1959 album 'Supersonic Guitars'.
Their next solo recording session, on the 14th August '62, produced the follow-up single
The Breeze And I. It was a popular number amongst instrumentalists in '62 because both The Tornados and The Shadows had also covered the melody. Fans were delighted in the 1980s when the See-For-Miles label issued an alternate version of The Breeze And I which boasts a short acoustic guitar passage midway in the tune.

Three more titles were captured on the 14th August '62; the flip,
Just For Jerry (which was written overnight after producer Ron Richards suggested they compose the flip), Mick's Tune and Duke Ellington's Caravan.

Raucus is a beaty instrumental recorded during a Shane Fenton session on 30th December 1963 and so far remains unissued. The Fentones' final Parlophone solo session came on 11th September 1962 when they taped the Santo & Johnny tune Teardrops, a Ventures track called Gringo and an ambitious attempt at the jazzy Take Five.

By the mid sixties the music scene had changed considerably and Shane and the boys went their separate ways; Fenton into pop management and the Fentones hooked up with R & B artist Duffy Power for a while.

With the 1970s came ‘Glam Rock’ and Shane emerged as Alvin Stardust, scoring several major hits including the No.1 smash,
Jealous Mind.

The Fentones were pretty much out of the public eye until 1995 when Wilcock, Bonney and Hinchcliffe reunited for a one-off performance in London at the Pipeline Convention.
Whispers of a full-blown reunion and some new recordings sadly came to nothing.

Bill Bonney now lives in Canada and makes the odd CD guest appearance and occasionally performs with 'The New Fentones', Jerry Wilcock is living in the West Country but the whereabouts of Mick Eyre and Tony Hinchcliffe is unknown.
Tony Hoffman & Bill Bonney
York 2008