Heatwave (1969 ~ 1980)
1969 and The Moving Targets, formerly The Florins [as 2 Bobs were in the band]: John Fellows ~ Fender Jazz bass/vocals (Norwood), Terry Shea ~ Fender Stratocaster rhythm guitar/vocals (Peckham) and Richard Steen ~ Epiphone Casino lead guitar/vocals (Liverpool), were auditioning in south London yet again for a drummer and answered an ad., 'Have drums, will travel', in Melody Maker by Martin H. Samuel ~ Premier drums & Zildjian cymbals (Streatham). They signed him on and the newly-named Heatwave took shape. They were a progressive pop harmony group, playing cover versions of the popular artists of the day, with lead vocals shared by Terry and John with a few songs from Richard. They played such local gigs as; 4 nights at The Boathouse in Kew, Richmond for £40.00 (total) and Silver Blades Ice Rink, a Mecca Ballroom in Streatham, where skaters would spray ice at the stage with their skates as they circled by. Regular rehearsals were held at Richard's parents' house in West Norwood where they would play a song, 'one more time for the lady upstairs'!
In the winter of '69, John Edward (R.I.P.) Entertainment Agency was looking for bands and, having arrived at the audition early, Heatwave were outside listening to Spencer Mac (Bournemouth) when, someone said, "Let's not bother." Martin talked them into auditioning with, "We've come this far, may as well go in." They played: 'Papa Gene's Blues' (Mike Nesmith), 'Morning Dew' (Bonnie Dobson), 'I Shall Be Released' (Bob Dylan) and were asked to sign that night. Touring the country with a Marshall PA in an old Ford Thames van, playing four sets a night as a four-piece, was a hard but great life. They became a very tight vocal harmony band with a solid dance beat and, while earning a large fan following, often 'opened' for 'name' acts - e.g. Consortium, Love Sculpture (Dave Edmunds) and on 28th June 1969, Spooky Tooth ~ whom they 'blew off the stage' ... much to the delight of the teeny-bopper dancers!
John Edward believed the band did not have a strong enough voice to be a successful recording group and suggested recruiting a lead vocalist. This did not go down too well with John and Terry but, eager for a recording contract, they didn't argue and set up auditions with an advert in the Melody Maker. After what seemed like hundreds of strange and out of tune would-be singers, they heard Peter Allatt ~ lead vocals/percussion (Mansfield) and offered him the position. Prior to joining Heatwave, Pete was the stage manager of Maxim's Revue Bar... a West End strip club in Greek Street, Soho where the owner let the band rehearse until they were ready to hit the road as a five-piece. Martin traded in his Premier kit for a set of '70 Ludwig drums & Paiste cymbals.
The Ford Thames was traded in for a new blue Ford Transit (driven by John and Pete), reclining seats bought from B.O.A.C. were bolted in the back, and the group continued enlarging their following doing one night stands around the U.K. Three of many favourite venues played were: The Pheasantry (London), California Ballroom (Dunstable) and The Cavern Club (Liverpool) ~ where a commemorative brick with the Heatwave name is proudly displayed, 20 rows directly above 'John', in the Cavern Wall of Fame. 1970, Heatwave played the Boston Gliderdrome on the same bill as Love Affair with Steve Ellis. At the time, when The Glider had a revolving stage, bands were expected to play as it turned taking one band off and bringing another on. On one occasion, as we were coming in to view, the curtains swept our Marshall PA columns off the stage... very embarrassing.
A stage act was suggested whereupon, Martin turned up the heat with a pyrotechnic display of fire eating ~ even setting fire to himself on one occasion! By then, other bands would 'open' the show for them. The band's stage gear was made in Ganton Street, just off Carnaby Street by, The Carnaby Cavern, owned by Danny Benjamin and managed by his very good friend Colin Wild.
Heatwave was invited to appear on the Terry Wogan radio show without having the usual audition and, from that, had the opportunity to record for the Dave Cash, Kenny Everett, Dave Lee Travis, Jimmy Young and Radio One Club shows ~ in fact, Heatwave became one of the most-oft heard 'live' professional bands on BBC Radio One between 1969 and 1971.
Written by Martin, the 5-piece regularly played the songs, 'It's Over Now' and 'Rainmaker Man'. The latter, with Richard on bottleneck slide electric guitar, was recorded at the BBC and broadcast twice on the Jimmy Young Radio Show via the BBC World Service.
Recorded in Pye Studios 16th October 1970, Heatwave released 'Sister Simon (Funny Man)' (PEN 738 1F) b/w 'Rastus Ravel (Is A Mean Old Man)' (PEN 738 2F), Friday 13th November 1970, on the Larry Page Penny Farthing Records label. Both songs were written and produced by John Edward, ex-pirate radio DJ, for Instant Sound Production. The single featured back-up singers, Maggie Stredder, Gloria George and Marian Davis ~ known as The Ladybirds on the A-side with Rick Wakeman playing piano and Doris Troy singing back-up on the B-side.
After the single was released, the boys sometimes had the luxury of 'opening acts' - e.g. Greenfield Hammer (who later morphed into Edison Lighthouse). Quite often at different clubs, BBC radio broadcasts were heard to emanate from Richard's Vox AC30 amplifier when on stage! On one occasion, Pete and Martin literally hijacked Radio 1 Club, while on the air, and played the A-side of the record while John, Rich and Terry waited outside in the getaway Tranny van. The record was a big thing in the band's life and, unbeknownst to them at the time, was also released in Germany and Japan ~ where it sold more copies than in the U.K. Word on the web is, the funkier B-side is still played in clubs in those countries today.
When John married Noreen and left the group, Terry took over on bass and Heatwave continued as a 4-piece. Martin left mid-1971 and, having successfully auditioned with Badfinger, he managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by failing to own up to being a songwriter when Pete Ham asked. Martin went on to join Crew who toured with Emperor Rosko as part of his International Roadshow (and they're still in touch).
Late 1971 and, unpaid as usual, John, Terry and Richard again recorded, 'Rastus Ravel (Is A mean Old Man) backing tracks for the 1971 B-side by Melody Smith and the 1972 B-side by John O'Hara.
1980 and 11 years down the road plus several band name changes later, then playing as a trio comprised of Terry, Richard and Pete, the final gig was the British Rail Servicemen's Club at Bulwell in Nottingham and the last hurrah for Heatwave... the original band by that name!
14.8.2011, 'Rastus Ravel' uploaded by Kanta Usui to Y'Tube (Japan).
1.1.2012, Heatwave on rotation on Radio Northern Star (Norway).
15.4.2012, Heatwave aired by Eddy Bonte on Radio 68 (Belgium).
24.4.2012, the Heatwave Story published by Col Wolfe (England).
2.4.2013, 'Rastus Ravel' is track 4 on the bootleg album, Piccadilly Sunshine, Part 12: British Pop Psych and Other Flavours 1967-1971 (England).
11.4.2013, Paul Martin reviewed Picadilly Sunshine, Vol. 12 in Shindig! Magazine ... 'So here’s another hamper of low calorie sooth-sayers with pictures to paint. The indulgence food in this particular feast comes from Heatwave’s “phat” mod-soul funker, Rastus Ravel’ (England).
1.5.2013, vote for the best version of 'Rastus Ravel' at Forumusic (England).
5.8.2013, Heatwave Penny Farthing Records single song rights are owned by Larry Page who told Martin he has not licensed them since its 1970 release (Australia).
14.5.2014, Martin & Terry co-wrote, 'Sailin' Away' (USA/England).
26.9.2014, Heatwave with drummer swallowing fire on LiveInternet (Russia).
24.11.2014, 'Rastus Ravel' track 50 on Coast2Coast MakinMoves Vol. 389 (USA).
19.1.2015, 'Rastus Ravel' uploaded to YouTube, using cover art from the 'Piccadilly Sunshine' bootleg album, by REBEAT Digital GmbH (Austria) – who filed a complaint with YouTube stating the Heatwave 24.12.2011 Y'Tube video, 'Rastus Ravel' contained copyrighted content. Martin filed and won a counter-claim... YouTube removed the video. REBEAT also listed the song for sale as an mp3 download on Amazon.com which Martin contested and it too was deleted.
1.4.2015, 'Rastus Ravel' track 88 on Coast2Coast WeWorkin Vol. 99 (USA).
2.11.2015, Heatwave is #4 in the London pop chart on NumberOneMusic (England).
5.12.2015, 'Rastus Ravel' is #1 in the London funk chart on NumberOneMusic (England).
31.12.2015, 'Rastus Ravel' is track 57 on Coast2Coast WeWorkin Vol. 257 (USA).
5.1.2016, 'Rastus Ravel' is track 72 on Coast2Coast WeWorkin Vol. 261 (USA).
13.1.2016, 'Rastus Ravel' is track 37 on Coast2Coast PopStars Vol. 20 (USA).
★ 4.2.2016, Heatwave reunion June gig in Northampton was canceled by Terry (England).
22.4.2016, ~ 100% commercial-free online radio ~ used Rastus Ravel in a newsletter (USA).
26.4.2016., Earbits wrote, 'Hey Heatwave, Great news! We are planning on posting about your music on our Facebook page (facebook.com/earbits) to our 60K followers. We're huge fans of your music. You guys rock!' (USA).
★ 10.8.2016, Heatwave is #1 for Funk on NumberOneMusic (England).
★ 5.1.2017, 'Rastus Ravel' is track 23 on Coast2Coast Rock Edition Vol. 8 - Martin wrote the track 22 lyric - (USA).
★ 3.3.2017, Lewis Anderson and Grant Schofield of Happening 45, wrote of the Heatwave single, 'This One-off 45 has a Funky Feel all the way through. Superb Drums and guitar' - (England).
★ April 2017, Martin is mentioned on page 10 and, with Heatwave, on page 23 of The Beat magazine – (England).
★ 12.5.2018, DJ John Dale introduced Heatwave and played 'Sister Simon (Funny Man)' on his Radio 2RDJ FM Classic Tracks show – (Australia).
★ 12.10.2018, along with 11 other songs Martin had a hand in, 'Rastus Ravel' is track 70 on Coast2Coast WeWorkin Vol.680 (USA).
★ October 2018, Peter van Vlokhoven played 'Rastus Ravel' on the WinkelWagenShow – (The Netherlands)
★ April 2020, Richard Griggs play-listed 'Rastus Ravel' on Zone Radio and placed it on rotation for 8 weeks – (South Africa).
★ June 11th 2020, DJ Don Edwards introduced Heatwave and played 'Rastus Ravel' & 'Sister Simon' on Super CFL Radio in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
★ June 20th 2020, Lori Dean played 'Rastus Ravel' on her Dusty Discs Radio show Saturday Night Seventies at 6pm PST with an encore at 10pm PST and added 'Sister Simon' and 'Rastus Ravel' into the station playlist rotation – (Canada).
★ June 28th 2020, Jane Clayton played 'Sister Simon' on the West Norfolk Radio Sunday Show with an encore on 30th, 1st & 3rd July – (U.K.)