Birmingham Music

The Redbeards From Texas

Redbeards from Texas - Goodbye T' Jane

Redbeards from Texas - Goodbye T' Jane

A good friend of mine, when I was around 16, got a job at a guitar shop called the Bass Place in Suffolk Street that was owned and run by two members of the Redbeards from Texas and thus my introduction to the band began.  It’s a little tricky to describe the Redbeards act without using the phrase ‘mock ZZ Top’ but it’s fair to say that, particularly in their early days, they really modelled themselves as ZZ Top soundalikes which, at least during that period of the mid-1980’s, wasn’t necessarily a bad thing in terms of gaining a listening audience.

In fact, prior to  actually meeting the band, I do recall reading about the Redbeards from Texas in Kerrang and a few friends of mine told me about a particularly torrid gig they’d seen them play at one of the short-lived ‘Blast, Blitz and Boogie Nights’ at the Birmingham Odeon supporting black metal ‘inventors’ Venom:  whoever thought-up pairing a ZZ Top genre group with a death metal act needed help!

My particular introduction to the band was when a friend asked me if I could help out as a roadie for the day at the Portland Club where the band were to shoot a video for their single Shoot It Up.  I jumped at the chance and spent the day with the band – along with their preferred PA company Tourco headed by Richard ‘Fez’ Ferriday (about whom you can read more as bassist with Cryer) whom I had got to know through Edwards Number 8 gigs – ‘Crazy’ Al King, Tony Smith, ‘Big’ Mick Hughes, Dave ‘Sprog’ and Den York.  It was an eye opening experience and great fun.

The band consisted of:

Morton Pinkley (Ian Allen) – Guitar, Vocals
Wild Hoss Maverick III (David ‘Kink’ Keates) – Bass, Vocals
Bud Weiser (Craig) – Guitar
Duke Delight (Colin) – Drums

Neil Troman – Drums (final tour)

During their time they release several singles from their one and only album – Havin’ a Ball – performed a BBC Peel Session on 25/06/85 and made several TV appearances.  However, despite being a good live act and pulling a considerable audience for their gigs, they were somewhat limited in appeal due to their musical adherence to the ZZ Top mould and their association with their early days comedy gimmicks such as false beards etc which was a pity.

Redbeards from Texas - I Saw Her Standing There

Redbeards from Texas - I Saw Her Standing There

I helped out carrying equipment etc at a number of gigs for them during the mid-late 80s and had a blast – endless Budweiser, practical jokes and far too much running around naked (won’t elaborate further but some of the band’s antics were legendary) ensured a good turn was had by all,  except possibly at a gig at the Kent Custom Classic bike show where Fez pulled the gearstick off the van exiting Toddington Services on the return journey at about 5am in the morning and we had to get the AA to bring us back to Birmingham – which they did, in just enough time for me and Fez to pick up the Tourco PA truck to go off to a gig elsewhere!

The Bass Place was also a hive of activity with many of the City’s musicians shopping there – or at least popping in for a natter with Ian and Kink.

However, by the close of the 80’s the band had called it a day with Ian and Kink going on to form Mazique with vocalist and ex-recording studio owner, Guy Stanway (brother of Magnum’s Mark Stanway) – who had a minor hit with a cover of Golden Earring’s Radar Love – only to reform a year or two later – this time with Neil Troman on drums – for a final (Inland Revenue-related) UK tour. Ian and Kink also had had a song entered to be the UK song for Eurovision but it lost out in the final of ‘Song for Europe’ several years ago.

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24 comments for “The Redbeards From Texas”

  1. Hi,
    I never got to see the guys perform live, regrettably!!
    But I remember buying the single, Goodbye T’ Jane….
    Awesome sound they had.
    They were the british ZZ-Top!!

    All the best,
    Tom Cunningham.

    Posted by Tom Cunningham | August 24, 2009, 1:26 pm
  2. I saw The Redbeards in around 87 at Rock City Notts. How come they never got to the top – they were awesome!
    They had a really hard but neat and tight sound and did some amazing songs. I also saw them headline at the Kent Custom show at Lydd Airport, there were about 50,000 people there and they rocked it big time.
    I don’t know what happened to the members of the band, but saying that, they had a massive reputation for partying hard and they were never without female fans,(if you know what I mean) so maybe they all did a Spinal Tap and exploded or ended up in rehab!!!. I know most of the road crew joined Metallica after the Redbeards split up.
    If any of the guys read this – why not do a re-union gig? I know it would be a sell out.

    Posted by Stan Shaw | September 23, 2009, 2:29 pm
  3. wow. came across this whilst looking for something completely different! isn,t the internet great for that. great trip down memory lane shirt! den out with the ELO boys at the mo. cheers to all!

    Posted by jood york | December 5, 2009, 2:01 am
  4. Blimey, Den York – now that’s a blast from the past! I used to work for the Redbeards (among others), at Edwards Rock Club and for Fez/Tourco and used to bump into Den a lot back in the day. Good to hear he’s still knocking about.

    Posted by Andy Doherty | January 3, 2010, 9:10 pm
  5. I saw the Redbeards at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre back in Eighty Mumble. Great night.

    I think I might still have the T-shirt from the gig somewhere, much to the amusement of my wife (an American).

    Happy days!

    Posted by Adam Birch | March 1, 2010, 1:28 am
  6. I saw the redbeards at the general Wolf in Coventry several times.Always had a great night,they where one of the best pub bands I ever went to see.I still have the LP now transfered to my Ipod,still listen,still superb.

    Posted by Stuart Allen | April 17, 2010, 10:28 am
  7. A good friend?…………..would that be me me old mucker? I’m hoping it was all the wild nights that erased my name from your memory?? Anyway, I hope you’re well Andy.

    Posted by Lee Smith | May 10, 2010, 12:17 pm
  8. Hello mate, been a while. Of course I didn’t forget your name . . . just thought it a little less incriminating to omit it should I decide to recount some of our antics back in the day 😉

    Posted by Andy Doherty | May 10, 2010, 5:57 pm
  9. Hey Lee, how’s yer memory?? How about Mr. Smiths down at Poole Dorset. I was in the band that used to support the Red’s. I remember Tony Smith and Big Mick, Fez and I recently caught up with Ian. I remember calling you at home when I was out with The Georgia Satellites when we were playing the Hummingbird – don’t think you made it though………Other places were Junction 10 in Walsall and I actually went to London to the Astoria with Tony and The Rock Garden. Hope your OK – Mike

    Posted by Mike Davies | May 16, 2010, 9:03 pm
  10. I saw the ‘Beards quite a few times at JB’s in Dudley. Christmas Eve 1986 being a highlight. However, the best gig was at some place in Poole called Mr C’s. It turned out to be the local Angel’s chapter’s haunt. We were bricking it when we got in, but once the beer flowed and the band got into stride were were giving them the usual abuse they always got. (You have to have seen one of their gigs to understand that reference)

    Anyway, the place rocked and we saw the guys afterwards – they even gave us some beer! We saw them in Brum a couple of months later, and apparently after the Poole gig, the Angels had “invited” them to perform at their HQ in the middle of nowhere near Dorchester. It was an offer they couldn’t refuse…

    Posted by AJ | July 26, 2010, 2:11 pm
  11. I saw the band many times,they were
    great and should have become big.
    I have a live recording,taken straight of the mixer desk of them at the Bromford Club Birmingham 29th May 1986 and some photo’s from the Selly Park Tavern pub Birmingham 31st January 1986
    Happy days.

    Posted by Alan Flowers | August 6, 2010, 2:33 pm
  12. Further to my previous e-mail Aug 6
    2.33 PM
    The song running schedule for the
    live show was:-

    Gonna love her all the time.
    Party on the patio.
    If I could only flag her down.
    I saw her standing there.
    Me or the boys.
    Poker with the boys.
    One love man.
    Drinkin’ on a saturday night
    She don’t love me, she loves my automobile.
    Soul in chains.
    Don’t miss understand me.
    I’m coming home.
    It’s alright.
    Ain’t that a shame.
    The yellow rose of Texas.
    In love again.

    Posted by Alan Flowers | August 6, 2010, 3:20 pm
  13. Aye up!
    A mate of mine told me about this blog, and I had to drop in to say “hello” to all the names I remember.
    Andy, Mike Davis, Lee the Mosh, Alan F…… Happy days!

    Posted by Kink | September 20, 2010, 3:44 pm
  14. Blimey, this has brought back some memories. One of my cousins was in the Redbeards so I went to see em many, many times over the years (in my mid teens) and always had a great night out. I seem to recall one boxing day or new years eve at JBs Dudley which was legendary. They always packed the place out and left folks pissed and happy. You couldn’t ask for more. I also ended up doing a YTS at Tourco at some point which was interesting, but looked like too much hard work for me 🙂 … I wonder what happened to Janine …

    Posted by ANDY | September 20, 2010, 5:13 pm
  15. Oh, I was at that Venom gig at Birmingham Odeon too!. What a mental idea putting them on the bill between Exodus and Venom (if memory serves). I’m pretty sure they got covered in gob from the off from the black metallers but still rocked it. Good times

    Posted by ANDY | September 20, 2010, 5:16 pm
  16. I remember having a VHS tape of a promo video they shot for Soul In Chains once. I think they shot it at JBs but it was done to look like it was at some huge festival (the wide shots etc) like Donington or something. Class

    Posted by ANDY | September 21, 2010, 2:44 pm
  17. This has indeed brought back some memories, most of which involve copious quantities of alcohol… more great gigs than I can begin to remember, four great guys, one great album… I ended up with Ian’s white guitar, but I sold it years ago to buy a Tele… if the guys are reading this, cheers for some unforgettable nights.

    Posted by Charlie Davidson | October 11, 2010, 5:11 am
  18. Wow my all time fav pub band seen them many many times cant remember most of the nights as was always a massive piss up one of my prized posessions a signed album still gets played such a shame they didnt become massive.All the best to em anyway

    Posted by George Willison | November 15, 2010, 4:17 pm
  19. KINK!!!! How the devil are you my son? Happy days indeed. We need to catch up for a beer or ten. I’m up in Nottingham now, but I do get back to Brum from time to time. I’ll check in on this blog more often to see if you’re up for a meet pal.
    Lee (the mosh)

    Posted by Lee Smith | February 25, 2011, 4:47 pm
  20. Hi Mike
    The memory is just about hanging in there………the same as everything else these days!! I do remember the Georgia Satellites invite, yeah I didn’t make it you’re right, not sure why now though?? Great days & great gigs. I’d love to do a pilgrimage of all the old UK venues to see if they’re still there first & foremost, then to relive some old memories. I hope you’re well mate?


    Posted by Lee Smith | March 4, 2011, 2:07 pm
  21. Lee, give me a private e-mail address – need a quick chat……..


    Posted by Mike Davies | March 8, 2011, 6:26 pm
  22. Lee Boy!
    I’m in Tamworth, but spend a fair bit of time in Notts.
    drop me a line and lets meet for a beer!

    Posted by Kink | March 15, 2011, 4:24 pm
  23. Their is great video of The RedBeards on Youtube playing at the
    JB Club, playing “Soul in chains” it lasts about 6 minutes.

    Posted by Alan Flowers | May 11, 2011, 12:31 pm
  24. Kink. Remember the gigs, the travelling to gigs, the wild nights, and the personal driver for you, Ian, Craig, and Colin all over the UK…….yep Parker.
    In Burntwood now Buddy……..get in touch mate

    Posted by Dave Parkes | June 28, 2011, 9:56 pm

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