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didn't like the recording side of the business & longed to get back to
live work. In pursuit of this he answered an ad in the Melody Maker for a
'singer wanted for name band'. This turned out to be the Artwoods.
This band had been around since about 1963 & had released six singles.
One for Parlaphone & five for Decca. As things would have it Rod really
dug this band anyway. The Artwoods were legendary as a British Blues band.
They had come about from Redd Bludd's Bluesicians. By the time Rod became
their singer they were working under the name of St. Valentine's Day
Massacre. They had just recorded 'Buddy
Can You Spare A Dime'
with Art Wood (Ron Wood's brother). Art Wood was leaving the band to follow
a solo career Rod had been drafted in to honour the gigs that had been lined
up to promote the single.
original line-up of Art Wood on vocals, Keef Hartley on drums, Jon Lord on
keyboards, Malcolm Poole on bass & Derek Griffiths on guitar were, by
mid 1967, down to Derek Griffiths & Malcolm Poole with Rod on vocals
& Colin Martin on drums to make up the numbers. Keef Hartley went on to
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers & Jon Lord to the Flowerpot Men & then
the Thursday Rod was auditioned along with a fella called Steve on keyboards
at Pooles Diary, Hayes End. Both were hired & were informed that the
first gig to play was on the coming Tuesday in Paris. Not long in which to
learn the entire repertoire & it would have been impossible if Art Wood
had not written down the lyrics for Rod.
the name change to St. Valentine's Day Massacre had come an image change. In
came the pin-stripe suits, double-breasted jackets & Oxford bag trousers.
Machine guns as well. The itinerary was; two gigs in Paris & then back
to England for fourteen nights without a break. A grueling enough
schedule without the accompanying tour partying with such bands as The
Spencer Davis Group, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band & The Move.
Once this tour ended, there was no work on the horizon, so the band
disbanded. Malcolm Poole went on to play with John Mayall, Derek Griffiths
went on to be a session musician & then joined 'Satisfaction' in
1971. Colin Martin went on to be a BBC Producer & Rod ran into Andy
Rickell who was playing with a band called 'White rabbit'.