Info kindly supplied by Barry Wood
Hello, Just found your website via the Northern Echo. I remember a group that does not appear on your list. They started off as "The Borderers" then changed the name to" The Misfits". They played mainly in the Peterlee/ Hartlepool area in the early 1960s. The vocalist /rythm guitar was Dave Inchliffe and the group included Frank Turnbull and his brother.
This pic was taken in Peterlee Community Centre in the early Sixties.
Loads of extra info and pics kindly supplied by Frank Turnbull who was a founding member of the MISFITS group and remained with the group as lead guitarist throughout the whole of their existance.
history of the Misfits
group originated in 1958 with Frank Turnbull and David Inchliffe who together
formed a duo called the Wanderers. Frank and David encouraged their friends
Barry Evans and Norman Harrison to join them, playing washboard and string bass
respectively. This formation allowed them to play all of the skiffle tunes of
Not content with the
skiffle scene and limited sounds of acoustic instrumentation and home made bass
and percussion, Frank and David ventured into the electric guitar world. Firstly
by way of adding pickups to their flat back acoustics and amplifying the sound
through tape recorders and pu line
in facilities on the devices. This limited sound expansion provided the impetus
for them both to buy fully electric guitars. Frank’s guitar was a Rosettii
Airstream 3 and David’s was a two pickup Broadway solid body. Amplification
was provided by way of Watkins Westminster and a Madrigal amplifier. Around this
time both Barry Evans and Norman Harrison departed the scene to concentrate on
The period was now
1960/61 and the rock music of the time featured more and more groups with a four
man line up of rhythm, lead, bass and drums.
Frank recruited his cousin
Jim Turnbull to play drums and another friend Bill Cockfield to play Bass.
Neither of these new members had any previous musical experience of group
playing, or the instruments, yet they excelled in the uptake and very quickly
became proficient. Jim firstly bought a cheap but rather fine looking red
sparkle drum outfit whilst Bill utilised David’s flat top acoustic, de-tuned
for bass and later changed for a new Egmond semi acoustic electric bass.
At this time the four
members decided to change the name of the group to the Borderers in recognition
of the family clan connections of the respective group members. Initially the
Borderers largely played Instrumentals with Vocals forming a lesser part of
their repertoire. But as they undertook public performances they were conscious
of the need to increase their vocal strength and recruited Barry Harbottle as
They changed their name to
Barry and the Borderers and made
their first paid public
appearance at Burtree Caravans’, Darlington, Summer barbeque in 1961. This was
followed by an appearance at the Miss Crimdon Dene competition as supporting act
to the renowned professional group called the Peddlers. From hereon the group
grew in both experience and popularity.
During 1962 bookings
increased and demands for further appearances were such as to prompt the group
to seek a manager, Melvyn Hope. At this time it was felt that the group had
out-developed the name and it was decided to now call the group The Misfits. New
equipment was needed as the present gear was both tired and inadequate for the
size and extent of work now being undertaken. Consequently the whole group was
re-equipped as follows:
Frank Turnbull (lead
guitar) Sunburst Fender Stratocaster, Vox AC30 (with top boost) and Echolette S
echo. David Inchliffe (Rhythm guitar) Cherry red Guild Starfire III, and Vox
AC30. Bill Cockfield (Bass guitar) Sunburst Fender Precision, and Vox AC30 bass
amp. James Turnbull (Drums) Premier Black pearl outfit with Turkish hand spun
cymbals. Vox pa and sure microphones (both ribbon and moving coil) rounded up
the vocal equipment.
The group played at
venues throughout the whole of the Northeast, Teesside and Yorkshire. Their
popularity resulted in them entering and winning all the heats of the Northeast
Beat Group competition, sponsored by the Northern Echo and Tyne Tees Television,
finally playing at the Majestic Ballroom in Newcastle in the finals and being
placed joint second with the Berries. The points separating the first three were
so close that the top three groups (Renegades(later called the Gonks), Misfits,
Berries) were all awarded a recording contract and asked to turn professional by
agents running the competition. There were ten groups in all at the finals
(representing the cream of the north) and the Majestic was heaving with
supporters and others simply out for a great night. The atmosphere was
tremendous and all of the performances were brilliant, this was the first of the
rock group competitions in the Northeast. I recall one of the groups had their
performance interrupted by a power failure which a lot of the performers thought
was sabotage. I can’t remember the name of the group but remember I was
thankful it wasn’t the Misfits that it happened to.
The competition was
in the summer of 1963 or 64 and The Misfits went to Pye studios in London to
record their record. Unfortunately the van broke down on the way and by the time
we arrived at the studios we were out of time and the Kinks were in recording
their first LP. We were sent to another smaller studio for a demo recording
instead. The promised bookings and openings from the management agency did not
materialise and as a consequence the group broke up late in 1964. Individual
members did various things thereafter. Some even joined other groups/bands
In 1966 I resumed my
interest in groups and joined with several other musicians to form another group
which for a while was called Five Like Us.
The members kept changing
and quality of sound was forever being affected by these changes. It was late
1966, when the member line up finally comprised Frank Turnbull (lead) Alan Bower
(Rhythm and lead vocal) Bill Cockfield (bass) Jim Turnbull (drums), that we
considered able to resurrect the name of the Misfits once more. During 1967 the
group quite often practised in the Queens Head in Easington Village. It was
during one of these sessions that we were approached by a person who was looking
to place an English group in a Swiss Restaurant/night club (The Chlosterli) in
the millionaire ski resort of Gstaad. After initial contact we were asked to
send a recording of the group for the owners’ consideration. This was done
through studios situated at Newcastle and an initial contract was awarded for
the’ 67 winter season.
In order to undertake
the contract it was necessary for each member to return to being professional
and this meant a change of drummer. John Smith joined the group as a replacement
for Jim Turnbull and played the’ 67 winter Swiss scene. The group were a great
success and went on to do a further two tours.
The remaining tours
involved a further change in the drummer to Jim Robinson. In the period 1967 to
1969 the group enjoyed its greatest success with performances to Dutch, Danish
and Belgian Royalty including Princess Soraya of Iran. Performances for HH
Aly Khan and the Greek shipping magnate family of Goulandris as well as
performances before movie stars and other jet set millionaires.
Upon return to the UK
the group played supporting act to stars such as The Searchers, Billy J. Kramer,
Dave Berry, Hermans Hermits, Frank Carson and many others. The group finally
disbanded in 1969 at a time when the demands of a group existence and life style
no longer thrilled them. Final line up was:
Frank Turnbull (lead guitar
and supporting vocals), Alan Bower (rhythm guitar and lead vocals), Bill
Cockfield (bass guitar and vocals), Jim Robinson (Drums and supporting vocals).
Frank and Jim Turnbull,
Barry Evans and Norman Harrison lived in Peterlee. Bill Cockfield, Melvyn Hope
and John Smith lived in Horden. Barry Harbottle lived in Easington Colliery.
Alan Bower lived in Easington Village and Jim Robinson lived in Bishop Auckland.
Here they are trying out some new gear
The following pics were taken in 1967 during their stay in Switzerland