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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Discussion

4 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!!
    hahaha.

    All the best,
    Tom Cunningham.
    Liverpool.

    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.
    Stan.

    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

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