"ROCKIN' ALL OVER THE YEARS" - The Spectres in the year 1966


concerts, releases, TV, charts, publications

It's not known how many shows The Spectres played in 1966.
Pictures: Single-Cover "Hurdy Gurdy Man" Germany - "I(who have nothing)" Japan - "I(who have nothing)" Netherlands (by kind permission Günter Röder)


  • The Spectres continued to perform on stage; whether on small clubs or as showcase band at various occasions.
  • Apart from performing all members had a spare time job.
  • But the performances were not enough for The Spectres. They wanted to be signed to a record company to write songs and release them as singles. Even though there wasn't much money, they manged to get some demo tapes. "I (who have nothing)" originally written by Ben E.King in 1963. A bit later Shirley Bassey had a big hit with this song.
  • Manager Pat Barlow posted these demo-tapes to people who he thinks will like The Spectres. Even to the record company Decca a tape was sent; they had the Rolling Stones under contract.
  • Ronnie Scott a song-writer for Valley Music got the demo-tape too and he liked it that much and played it to John Schroeder, who worked in the A & R department as a producer of the Piccadilly Label, a subsidiary of PYE records. John Schroeder was impressed with what he heard and frequently went to the rehearsals of The Spectres.
  • Eventually he saw The Spectres 1966 live at the Charlie Chester Casino in London's West End. He soon worked hard to get a record deal for the Spectres.
  • 18. July 1966; the first big step for The Spectres was done: they were signed for 5 years to the Piccadilly Label.
  • John Schroeder was the first producer of The Spectres.
  • September 1966: 1.single-release "I(who have nothing)" with the b-side "Neighbour, Neighbour" originally by The Graham Bond Organisation on the year 1965. The lead-vocals on "I(who have nothing)" were sung by Francis Rossi, while "Neighbour, Neighbour" was sung by Alan Lancaster.
  • This single was released in UK, Japan and Netherlands.
  • 10.September 1966 saw the first BBC-Session of The Spectres, when the band appeared in the "Saturday Club". The songs "Gloria" - "I(who have nothing)" - "Bloodhound" and "Bird Dog" were played. Show master was Brian Willey. Note: this BBC-Session can be heard on the bootleg "Almost but not quite".
  • The single was a flop and didn't chart. One music critics said "Far too early to cover this song."
  • But The Spectres didn't let down themselves and soon the first self-penned song "Hurdy Gurdy Man" by Alan Lancaster appeared. This song was the 2nd single-release of The Spectres and the only german release.
  • November 1966: 2.single-release "Hurdy Gurdy Man" with the b-side "Laticia" another Lancaster-Song. The lead-vocals were sung by Alan Lancaster while the background was sung by Rossi/Lynes.
  • Apart from Germany the single was released in UK and in Australia, but couldn't chart and disappeared soon.

    Discography 1966:

  • I (who have nothing) / Neighbour Neighbour (Cat.No.: 7N35339)
  • UK: Hurdy Gurdy Man / Laticia (Kat.Nr.: 7N35352)
  • Germany: Hurdy Gurdy Man / Laticia (Cat. No.: PYE HT 300048)

    1. the saying is that Alan Lancaster's nick name "NUFF" was found in France. It's from the french "Le Nuffler" which means "little pig".
    2. Germany saw its Beatlemania: the Beatles-BRAVO-Tour attracted most of the people and was a big sensation. The Beatles LP "Rubber Soul" was No.1 for 16 weeks in Germany.
    3. the hits of the year 1966 in UK were:
    Singles: 1.Green green grass of home (Tom Jones) 2. Distant Drums (Jim Reeves) 3. Yellow Submarine (Beatles)
    Albums: 1. The sound of music (Soundtrack - 28 weeks No.1 in UK) 2. Rubber Soul (Beatles) 3. Aftermath (Rolling Stones)
    4. Football: FC Liverpool won the english championship. Celtic Glasgow won the scottish league.
    5. England won the football worldcup with a 4:2 win over Germany after extra time.
    6. The cinema showed "The Silencers" (with Dean Martin) and in America a series called "Star Trek" started on TV. Another TV series: "The Flintstones".