|Verfasst am: 27.10.2009 09:58:28 Titel: Sensational exclusive interview with singer ISABELLA BOND
|Our official CUX '66-GB-correspondent Ron Sale made contact with John Brock, a near neighbour of Isabella Bond, and sent him 10 questions (Q1 - Q10) which John should discuss with Isabella (nickname: Issy).
At first John said that Isabella has a very strong character and it seems, that she would not want to talk about the past.
But he did not give up, and HERE IS THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
Q1 How did you first get into the group scene as a singer in the very early days?
In 1961 my friend and I went to a dance and the band were playing there asked if anyone in the audience wanted to get up on stage and 'give us a song'. So I went up and sang 'Let' s Jump the Broomstick', by Brenda Lee - who sang a song called 'Sweet Nothings'. The band asked me if I wanted to sing with them and I told them I'd think about it. At the same time, in the audience was another band and they asked me if I'd join them instead and I said yes! They were called The Crescendors. We used to play all around Scotland but we played a place called Kirkintilloch (Scotland) most of all, which was on the outskirts of Glasgow.
Q2 Who were the singers/players/groups around that influenced you or impressed you at the time?
I was into Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley - I just loved their music. I loved Rock 'n' Roll...Little Richard. Females I liked were Brenda Lee, Timi Yoro...there's loads and loads of singers. There were loads of bands around - a Scottish band I liked were called Alex Harvey.
Q3 What were your experiences as a singer before you went to Germany? Presumably you became known around where you grew up?
No I was known more around Kirkintilloch and the dance hall there as that's where I used to sing mostly. John Ritchie was a singer in The Crescendors and the girls absolutely adored him. He had the most fantastic voice - he was fabulous. I used to sit and suss the crowd out - I used to be a 'susser'. The crowd were fabulous. We played there for about 2 years and there were never any fights. When we went there it was a small mining hall - reputation got around and when we left for Germany, that place had a big crowd. It was a pleasure to be out there. I looked forward to it every Saturday. The girls loved the boys - I was one of the boys anyway. I was treated like one of the boys...those were the days!
Q4 How was it that you left home to play in Germany - how did it come about?
The band were about a year older than me. The band got through to get a contract to play the Top Ten club in Hamburg so I said "Yes, alright!" when I was asked if I would go along with them, but I agreed to go for only just a month. We went to Hanover, then John (Ritchie) got to know people and we opened up a club in Berlin, it used to be an old cinema - it was called "The Tabu Club", West Berlin.
Q5 What are your worst and best recollections from your Hamburg days?
Being pissed on Lambs Black Navy rum and having the hangover for about 3 days - the stench of it! They used to send drinks up to the stage and you couldn't refuse it, and the waiter would light it! I loved Hamburg, I loved the people. I suffered as I still had to get on that stage and sing...I love it! Haha
Q6 Which other groups/singers did you come across and befriend in those Hamburg days?
Monica Pricken who worked behind the bar of the Top Ten Club - oh, she was a character. She was fantastic! The owner of the club, Peter Eckhorn, he was a marvellous boss. Very fair and handsome - he spoke beautiful English. I used to hang out mainly with the bands that used to play The TopTen Club. Tony Sheridan, he was one of the best! The Liverbirds, a four piece girl band. Barry St John and the Big Six, they were Scottish - a brilliant band. The Remo Four, a four piece band from Liverpool - fucking brilliant! I got loads of albums here. Oh god - the Bluesology featuring Elton John, who was then known as Reggie Dwight played the Top Ten Club.
Where did you go to hang out?
The Mambo Shank - a café where all the bands in the Top Ten and Star Club were. Big stars used to play The Star Club - I used to love seeing them. I remember walking down the Reeperbahn at night and all doormen outside the strip joints shouting "Hello Frauline!". I used to go into the Herbert Strasse with the boys in the band but I used to wear a duffle coat with the hood so people wouldn't know I was a girl. I was camouflaged. I was curious to see what was going on as there wasn't anything like that in Glasgow.
Musikladen, Beat Club - I was on so many tv shows...Switzerland, Austria singing with the cows!
Did you meet anyone over there?
There was one German guy that I dated a few times - Helmut Franke. He was gorgeous and he spoke the most beautiful English. He was very upper-class, I spent a lot of time down at "The Seamans Mission" and the fish market on a Sunday.
Q7 Tell us a bit about your recording sessions......
Three O'Clock in the Morning
Everything's Alright with Isabella Bond
The Heart and Soul of Isabella Bond.
Surfin' 66 - the band that were with me, the band were brilliant. The band that backed me did Beach Boys covers. The front of the albums is a girl with a bikini on, on a surf board (not me!). I sung 'middle-of-the-road' sort of music.
3 O'Clock, Everything's Alright.
Peter Eckhorn had a studio built in the club and when it got to 4 a.m., he'd say "Right, we are going to have a recording session". We were dead. All three albums were recorded in that studio - if we wanted an echo sound we did it in the Gents toilet! My Dad came over to Germany - he went to the toilet. "Here, there's an old dear in there who's about 90 checkin' to see if you're alright". She was a lovely old girl.
Q7 Eventually you left Germany. What brought this about?
I got homesick, and wanted to go home. I used to go home and see them but in the end I just wanted to go home. I did what I wanted to do. I was 23. I started to sing back in the Dennistoun Palais in Glasgow with Alex Harvey and a guy called George Gallagher. George Gallagher was in a band called 'The Poets' years ago and he got to know someone called Malcolm and he knew someone in London who was very interested in my singing voice. He got in touch with a record company called Major Minor who wanted me to come down to London and record an album in Chapell Studios, Bond Street. 'The Heart and Soul of'... we went to Bulgaria and won the Bronze, in the Golden Orpheus Song Festival.
Q8 What have you done with your life since returning to the UK?
I met my husband Roger, got married, had twin daughters - Astrid and Trudi.
I named one of my daughters after Astrid Kirchherr. I just liked the name. Trudi is named after my mother-in-law, who was German - Gertrude.
Q9 Is there any message for the website or anyone you want to say hello to or trace?
Say hello to Sabine Stadter, Monika Pricken, Helmut Franke.
Q10 Do you miss those times and would you do the same all over again if you had the chance? What would you do differently?
Yes I would do it again. Only this time I wouldn't spend so much time being pissed and I didn't even look into the German history. I saw more in Berlin - I wish I had done more in Hamburg. I didn't do anything differently.
As we say in Scotland - "Long mae yer lumreek!" and "Up yer kilt with a blowlamp!". It means 'May your chimney always be smoking' and 'May you always be happy'.
THANK YOU ISABELLA BOND ! THANK YOU RON SALE ! THANK YOU JOHN BROCK !
November 13, 1965: "Cuxhaven in Bond-Fever": Isabella Bond, "The Strangers" and "Lord Shout and the Butlers" - location: "Zur Sonne", Cuxhaven, Nordersteinstrasse.
John Ritchie played in the 60s with the German Band The Quartermasters (Itzehoe) in the Star-Club Hamburg.