A Phil Brodie Band Tribute Page

FIVE WELL KNOWN SHEFFIELD MUSICIAN FRIENDS OF OURS

[left to right on the photo] Steve Denton - singer, John Crookes - harmonica & sax, Chuck Fowler - keyboard, Alan Wood - guitar and John Ferminger on the drums. Photo of Steve Denton, John Crookes, Chuck Fowler, Alan Wood and John Ferminger.

I found this photo hidden away in the archives of my PC!! I look at it now with some happy memories. The photo was taken at a fund raising night to raise money for Weston Park Hospital and cancer research when it was found Chuck had terminal cancer. Sadly the music scene has lost two of our above friends to that awful disease, just after Chuck died, Steve Denton was diagnosed with terminal cancer too. All 3 of our band have many links with them, as well as knowing them very well since the '60s. But here's one little story that not many people know. Our Neil Wathey [baby of our band] started his drumming career with Steve Denton, in The Steve Denton Band. Neil was only 14/15 years old at the time, and in-between sets he used to hide behind his drum kit doing his school homework and swotting for his school exams!! So we all now know who that pretty little boy on the drums was!! He still lays behind his drum rise ... hidden reading or cat napping!!

CHUCK FOWLER ... very long history this hillbillie come rock n' roll pianist. He has played with so many people in his line ups I would have to write a book! I should think one of his best memoirs would be one night in Chesterfield when he and Steve Denton were on the same line as his idol Billy Haley and the Comets back in the 60's! Chuck played the circuit bravely right up till his death in 1999.

JOHN CROOKES ... very experienced saxophone & harmonica musician. Big friend of Gerry and Neils as they played together in TNT for a number of years, and with Gerry for many years touring Britain and abroad with the UK Blues Brothers Band of which is John still a member. We enjoy him coming to our gigs and him joining in with his gob-irons!

STEVE DENTON ... started singing in pubs [anywhere where there was a pianist] in the middle '50s. He took his music sheets out with him and up he got! No mike in those days for his strong voice. Steve fronted a few bands and had his own line ups too, but he is remembered now mainly for his Elvis Presley voice ... WOW you could travel the world listening to Elvis impersonators, but Steve was the best Elvis voice to be heard, anyone who heard him would agree. Sadly missed.

ALAN [Woody] WOOD ... played with many top Sheffield bands like The Big 4 [one of Frank White's many line ups], The Chuck Fowler Band and also played with Jimmy James and The Vagabonds. He now has an entertainment agency, but does get up on that stage occasionally for a charity gig or memorial night.

JOHN [Fermo] FERMINGER ... Last time I saw John he wasn't very happy that someone unbeknown to him had put him on a website! but I will mention he does masses of work on and behind the music scene for charities and fund raising for artist's bereaved families. Also he runs the Crickets [Buddy Holly] fan club. He has co-written a book about the Sheffield's famous Mojo Club, a Pete Stringfellow successful venture in the 60's, also written another very interesting book "Not Like A Proper Job", about the Sheffield music scene , musicians and bands from '55 to '75 brill book. Fermo is still drumming in several bands and has drummed for singer Dave Berry from time immemorial!!

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