From MICHEL LECONTE:
"I was 15 years old when I took this photo of Gene Vincent performing
on the "Rock Across the Channel" one-
Gene Vincent has always had a place in my heart and in my mind."
Michel Leconte, Graphic Designer, France
From the many gigs had with The Hi-
Hank played an Antoria guitar then, so I had to have one for myself.
“ANTORIA GUITARS were first introduced into the UK from Japan in the early 1950‘s. Two of the earliest users of Antoria were Hank Marvin, there are pictures on the internet showing Hank playing his one on stage with The Shadows, and possibly Marty Wilde, as pictured on the sleeve of The Greatest Hits”
We used to look forward to playing in Barnet (we played there at least 26 occasions). The small hall had a great sound, probably because the pub was a few doors down the road. Every visit we would play bar billiards and cribbage, challenging the elder local regulars, as well as having a good drink between sets.
This pic shows the 4 foot square bass cabinet.
Len at Sainsbury’s dance with his Antoria guitar. 1959
Foolishly we had started leaving the gear stashed in the cloakroom, as we used to perform Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays. It made life a lot easier, but I will never forget that disbelief that someone would nick it and the sick feeling in my stomach. Luckily a guitar was borrowed from somewhere. The next day we had a gig in Maidstone, luckily I had some money saved and I borrowed the rest from Mum & Dad. I became the proud owner of a Les Paul Gibson Junior with twin pick-
1961/2. The Hi-
Les Paul Gibson Junior with twin pick-
The one with Len Ford & Brian Bennett, are from a holiday at Butlins in Skegness, (we met Rory Storm & The Whispers, with Ringo Starr on drums).
Len & Brian won the talent show heat and got a free return holiday for the finals, we did not win this.
The Pigalle Club was Len Fords' last gig with The Hi-
He subsequently spent 6 months in the Hermitage Cottage Hospital, Upper Norwood. The Hi-
It took a further 6 months convalescing at home before Len was declared fit and recommended not to follow the musicians lifestyle and so joined the everyday work place.
Len Ford did return to a work environment, he took up a position as a receptionist/tester with Frank Watson BMC franchise garage in Thornton Heath in late 1964.
This was a hard tour as it covered 21 venues, which involved 2 venues per night and a TV show in Stockholm. Most of the gigs, if not all were performed in the open air. Sweden had a large amount of parks with bandstands or auditorium type venues. This was possible due to the fact that the summer days are very long and it hardly gets dark. We started each show covering The Beatles songs, “Please, Please me” and “From Me To You”. This went down well with the crowds as I’m sure some of them thought we were The Beatles (if only).
Below is part of an e-
I have some questions I would like to ask you about this picture below from June 12th 1961. I would be very pleased to hear from you if you can spare some of your time. My name is Len Ford and I was lead guitar in a group The Hi-
Please do make contact.
Best regards. Len Ford
Below is the reply from Michel Leconte
I remember this day, June 12th 1961. I was 15 years old, living in Calais, and I took this photo after climbing a friend’s shoulders. It was a revelation for me and I began to learn guitar playing. A few years later I played bass guitar in a local group named The Coasters (we ignored there already was a group existing with that name) and we played in Boulogne-
Are you still playing Rock-
Best regards, Michel