SHANE FENTON AND THE
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
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,
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.
E F E N T O N E S
Parlophone R4899 - 1962
The Breeze And I
/ Just For
Parlophone R4937 - 1962
The Breeze And I (undubbed version)
See-For-Miles SFM CM102 (CD)
Gringo / Take Five
Instrumental Diamonds, Sequel Records NEXCD149 (CD)
Beat, Legacy Sounds UK LSCD001 - 2008 (CD)
(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
was the A-side and the disc managed a respectable No.41 in the charts in
The gentler B-side,
was a complete contrast to the frantic rhythm of
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
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
which boasts a short acoustic guitar passage midway in the tune.
Three more titles were captured on the 14th August '62; the flip,
(which was written overnight after producer Ron Richards suggested they
compose the flip),
and Duke Ellington's
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
Ventures track called
and an ambitious attempt at the jazzy
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,
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
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.