London's historic venue, the Cricklewood Crown.
THREE SHILLING CLUB
A Folkrock Genesis
John Donoghue:- “Frits, Steve and I got a small flat in London, on the Edgeware road at Cricklewood, and scored some gigs for the band at the local pub, the “Cricklewood Crown.”
One Saturday Frits and Steve turned up at the flat with Carl Everson, of the Fourmyula. They had ran into him on Edgeware Road, and it turned out the Fourmyula were living within walking distance of our place. They had a house in Willesden Green, and we saw
a lot of them after that. They were as poor as we were. But somehow their life seemed more glamorous."
of NZ Musicians" - (Dizzy Limit Band)
...one by one my Dizzy Limit bandmates all got day jobs. This meant they could now afford to sample
London's night life, so on the weekends I would find myself alone in our little flat at Cricklewood.
The Fourmyula's guitarist Martin Hope had the opposite problem. His was a seriously crowded
house on the weekends. So, if he had a Friday or Saturday night off, he would stroll over to Cricklewood and the two of us would spend an evening jamming on our acoustic guitars.
Martin was as broke
as I was, but he'd bring one lone shilling that he'd managed to beg, borrow or steal from somewhere. Martin's shilling would feed the gas meter in our flat and make the gas stove go. I'd scrape up a shilling from somewhere for the electric meter that gave
us lights to see by.
Soon we were joined by Martin's friend, Kiwi guitarist Lee Baker, who owned and played a Martin Dreadnought acoustic guitar. I was so impressed with Lee's guitar that I vowed
one day to own one just like it, and two years later, while with the Human Instinct, purchased a Martin D-18 Dreadnought that I still own and cherish to this day.
Lee was performing with his Dreadnought
guitar around the London Folk Circuit and along the way, picking up a treasure trove of traditional fingerstyle techniques from the London Troubadours he was mingling with.
Lee was generous with his
knowledge and passed on the various acoustic guitar techniques that he was learning to Martin and myself. In return, Martin and I would show Lee the electric guitar licks and riffs we were playing in our rock bands.
Lee also brought a shilling along to the gathering, and his shilling fed the TV meter.
So with our three shillings combined, we could take an hour off from our acoustic jamming to
make coffee, grill up toasted sandwiches and watch the BBC saturday night live music program on TV, which would inspire us to jam on into the wee hours.
Thus, the "Three Shilling Club" was born,
and continued until I left London in late 1970.
Martin Hope left the Formyula in 1971 and returned to New Zealand, where he and I would take the folkblues of the Three Shilling Club with us into the Human
Instinct, which was to considerably influence the band's sound and style.
Lee Baker also eventually returned to New Zealand,
where he put his electric chops to good use playing in various bands throughout the 1980's. He has since carved himself out a successful career in the New Zealand Film industry.
The Three Shilling Club also permeated into my songwriting, resulting in the nest of folkrock songs that would manifest as 1973's award-winning album "Spirit of Pelorus Jack."