St. Valentine's Day Massacre


Rod 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. 
The 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 Deep Purple.
On 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.
With 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'.