THE MIDNIGHT DYNAMOS
R&R CLUB VIENNA
AT THE ROCKABILLY HALL OF FAME
The Midnight Dynamos Rock & Roll Club sees itself as a club of friends Đ all of them rock & roll crazy. They show through wearing a common logo their love for rock & roll and their bond of togetherness. The term rock & roll is defined here as a music form with all its diversities and musical styles. Be it Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Teddyboy Rock & Roll, Swing É For a long time, not only the viennese / austrian scene was in demand for young blood of rock & roll enthusiasts. The Midnight Dynamos Rock & Roll Club was formed by some of the younger fans of the Rock & Roll / Rockabilly Subculture and some who were already living the Rockabilly lifestyle for a little while longer. As namesgiver for the club the young founding members chose ăMidnight DynamosŇ a hit for the UK Rockabilly group
The Midnight Dynamos Rock & Roll Club sees itself as a club of friends Đ all of them rock & roll crazy. They show their love for rock & roll and their bond of togetherness, through wearing the clubs logo on their jackets. The term rock & roll is defined here, as a music form with all its diversities and musical styles. Be it Rockabilly, Psychobilly, British Rock & Roll & Teddyboy Revival Rock & Roll, ... For a long time, not only the Viennese / Austrian scene was in demand for young blood of rock & roll enthusiasts. The Midnight Dynamos Rock & Roll Club was formed by some of the younger fans of the Rock & Roll / Rockabilly subculture and some who were already living the Rockabilly lifestyle for a while longer. Names-giver for the club is ŇMidnight DynamosŇ a hit for the UK Rockabilly group Matchbox in 1980.
You better beware and you better take care
When we hit the town tonight -
Kick away the blues
no time to lose honey
We can make it right
Pretty little thing
how your heart will sing
Fill it up with pure delight
In a supercharge from the gas garage
Explode like dynamite
We are the midnight dynamo's
Only come alive when the old moon shows
We are the midnight
we are the midnight
We are the midnight
We are the midnight dynamo's
So baby get a load of the fancy clothes
We are the midnight dynamo's.
We are the midnight
Hurry on down pretty mama we're bound now
And we're really set to go
You've never been alive cut the fancy jive
Don't you ever tell me no
Come-acome-away hear to the hot band play
How they always steal the show
Gonna wear you out make you jump and shout
You won't have time to blow.
We are the midnight dynamo's
Any place we cruisin'
People know us one by one
Ready packed for action fun
For all and all for fun
We are the midnight dynamo's
An interview with The Cotton Brothers
The Jets history begins in 1974 - then a four piece band - named after their members first initials - BRAD. (Bob, Ray, Andy & Dave) played the youth clubs, pubs, and basicially anywhere they could to gain experience. In 1978 after various line up changes the band named itself The Jets. The three brother act was finalised in the same year and two singles were released on Soho Records. "Rockabilly Baby" b/w "James Dean" and "Sleep Rock & Roll" b/w "Hey Baby". The release was limited in pressings. Certainly now a big and worthy collectable item. But it gave the Jets the promotion which was needed, to be signed by Lightnin« Records.
In April and May 1980 they cut their first album at the Becks studios (Now no longer existent) in Wellingborough, Northants. The album was recorded mainly in the evening after the young lads returned from work or school. The sessions sometimes lasting until early in the morning. Leaving the brothers just enough time to grab a coffee and then back to day time work for another eight hours. Guesting on the album JETS was Johnny Paris (sax) from Johnny & The Hurricanes on "Let«s Get It On" and "Don«t Push". Mickey Gallagher (piano) from Ian Dury«s Blockheads on "Let«s Get It On", "Who«s That Knocking" and "Booger Red". Davey Payne (also Ian Dury & The Blockheads) saxophone on "Booger Red" and "Who«s That Knocking". Soon the major EMI label licensed the Lightning Records recordings and released "Who«s That Knocking" b/w "I Seen Ya" and "Let«s Get It On" b/w "Hit It On" from the album for single releases. The same label released also the other master takes from the session together with the singles on an LP (EMI EMC3356).
The second album of The Jets 100%Cotton (EMI EMC3399) was their biggest selling album which made the Top 30 charts in the UK in 1982.
Three songs also giving The Jets hits:
Johnny Ray«s "Yes Tonite Josephine" changed into a powerful, energetic rockabilly number went to No.25, "Love Makes The World Go Around" reached No.21 and "The Honeydripper" climbed up to No.58
An appearance on Top Of The Pops followed, and to date they appeared no fewer than sixty times on British Television alone. Including five appearances on Top Of The Pops.
So far The Jets enjoyed nine hit singles. Their major impact on the international rockabilly / rock & roll movement shall not be underestimated.
I was lucky to book the Jets with our club - the Midnight Dynamos Rock & Roll Club - to Vienna«s Viper Room on April 12th 2009, a magic date, marking 55 years Rock Around The Clock. An enthusiastic crowd numbering 250 people (of whom 90 percent were young people in their 20s) enoyed a diverse, powerful rockabilly performance, with an add of doo wop.
Their show was sheer proffessionalism, without lacking the fun and excitement of a young band. And that«s what they are - even though they are on the circut for 31 years. I will turn 31 this May, so hey - yes we«re young.
Read now the interview I did with them. (Otto Fuchs)
From left R-a-B-HoF Columnist & Midnight Dynamo Otto Fuchs with The Cotton Brothers aka The Jets: Tony & Jet Ray Cotton (sitting) Đ standing Bob Cotton.
Otto Fuchs: "I«m pleased that we found some time after a very succesful gig The Jets played in Vienna in last night. To do an interview for UK Rock & Roll magazine. The Jets are one of the leading bands from the days of the rockabilly revival - up to now.
We are going to find out a little bit about The Jets past, present and perhaps even the future. So with your permission, I would like to start with the first question? How came it to be that all three of you got into the same kind of music? Which was Rockabilly, Rock & Roll and maybe a little bit of Doo Wop.
Bob Cotton: "When we first began. We began in 1974. We were still in school. We were in an organisation called the boys brigade, a youth organisation which did sports and various other things. There was a concert organised by the boys brigade, where everyone had to do something on stage. Do a scene, dance, pantomime, tell a joke, or whatever. And we decided to put this little group together. With myself Bob, Ray, and someone called Andy, and someone called Dave. That was before Tony was in the band."
Tony Cotton: "I was too young."
Bob Cotton: "Tony wasn«t in the boys brigade anyway. So our uncled played a little guitar - mostly Jimi Hendrix. So he showed us some chords. And we had an album, one LP called "25 Rockin« & Rollin« Greats". That was the only record we had, from where we learned about six songs. Went on the stage. Played it - and everybody loved it. Said it«s fantastic. So we had to play all six songs again at our uncle. And that was about 1974."
Otto Fuchs: "When did Tony join the band? I think you changed the instruments as well. Reducing to a three piece group. In what year did that happen?"
Bob Cotton: "In the beginning in 74, I was on lead guitar, Ray was on drums and we had Andy on bass, and Dave on rhythm."
Tony Cotton: "I used to come on stage and sing some songs, every now and then."
Bob Cotton: "Tony when he was eight years old, he used to come on stage and sing "Bony Moronie" and "Talahassie Lassie". And then ...
Tony Cotton: "My voice broke".
Bob Cotton: "And then we had a couple of different bass players. And then Tony started playing rhythm guitar, in 1977. And then in 78 we split up. We was still BRAD - because it was Bob, Ray, Andy & Dave - the intials. We were called BRAD ROCK & ROLL. Then we split - and decided rather than splitting up we«d continue as a three piece band - just change the intstruments: I became the double bass player, Ray became the lead guitarist and Tony became the drummer - becoming a three piece band. And then we played the first ever rock & roll weekend ever."
Otto Fuchs: "Which was Caisters."
Bob Cotton: "Caisters in 1979."
Jet Ray Cotton: "We recorded two singles "Rockabilly Baby" and "James Dean" and "Sleep Rock & Roll" and "Hey Baby" were our first two singles on Soho Records. And that was as that four piece band, with Tony on rhythm guitar."
Bob Cotton: "And then we split, before playing Caisters. That was the first gig, when we changed instruments. That was strange. Because when we turned up they expected a four people with different instruments. And then when we turned up, they got a three piece rockabilly band. (Laughs) We were called The Jets then. The name change happened in 78."
Jet Ray Cotton: "We actually made one single before we were The Jets and that was as BRAD and that was only a demo single, with about sixteen copies. Which were "Flying Saucers Rock & Roll" b/w "One Hand Loose" That was the first single we ever made, in 1974. I was thirteen on that record."
Bob Cotton: "We put that on our anniversary album - "15 Rockin« Years"
Otto Fuchs: "The Cotton family might be reknowned soon as the first family of rockabilly, since your sons are making a name in their own right as well, now. With that brand of music. Would you like to talk a little bit about how they got into that music?"
Ray Cotton: "They started when they were very young. They came to a lot of our gigs. They were very small, and they«d be sitting close to the stage. And they«d be watching from where the montiors speakers where. And occasionally fell asleep on them. (Laughs) They showed interest, because they saw so much of rock & roll. But we never told them to follow us. But when they showed interest, and asked us to show them how to play, we did. When they originally started they had a bass guitar, now a slap bass. They are also a three piece group - they are getting gigs all over Europe. They were orginally called The Bad Boys. They released one album called "My One Desire". Stray Cats / Dorsey Burnette-Song. Then they changed their name to Lights Out. They just recorded an album. Which should be released within the next two weeks. They are a lot older, since their first album. Now the have the slap bass, and they are better on guitar. They got their own influences now. And they picked up a slightly different style. They sound different thant The Jets, which is good."
Otto Fuchs: "So the UK Rock readers should be fast picking that new Krypton Records release up, as The Jets compilation album "The Singles" is climbing high up the Pollytone compiled charts in UK Rock. And is almost sold out. I«d like to throw in another question. Could you tell us about the days of the rockabilly revival. When The Jets were flying high up the charts?"
Bob Cotton: "In the 1980s: In between 1980 and 1984 we were in the charts with hit records all over the world. So that was good times. We were with a big record company. "
Otto Fuchs: "EMI."
Bob Cotton: "Yes, EMI. We were living in real posh hotels. Everything was supplied. It was nice for us. Just being ordinary people who«d liked to play the music. And the succes was fantastic. And we enoyed ourselves - great. We used to get companies who had photographs taken with us, using their product. I«m saying that because Tony was taking the drivers lessons for the motorbike drivers license. So Yamaha presented him with a motorbike for his 17th birthday. Ray was into wind surfing. So they presented him with a windsurf board. A company called jet ski. And somehow the word spread, that I did The Jets cardigans and college jackets. Which I didn«t. So they gave me a knitting machine. Which I didn«t know how to use. Off they sent me to London, to take classes for a week. So I was learning how to use the knitting machine, with these old ladies. While Tony was riding his new motorbike, and Ray was windsurfing. After completing my course, I traded in my knitting machine to a sewing machine."
Tony Cotton: "Which was closer to my Yamaha, as it had a motor at
Bob Cotton: "I still do some stuff for the band with that."
Otto Fuchs: "What is left for The Jets to achieve. What goals have you got for the future?"
Tony Cotton: "Another 35 years."
Bob Cotton: "We«ve had health problems over the last year. In July - Ray needed a kidney transplant. So I gave him one of my kidneys. Now Tony is on the waiting list for a kidney. Hopefully all works out well, so that we really can keep on playing another 35 years. We don«t see any reason why we should be quitting. We still go to a lot of different countries. And we still draw good crowds. We«re still recording. We are working on a new album, which is half finished. We«re also working on a show, which will feature the three Cotton bros. - Kings Of Harmony. We«ll be mainly singing and dancing in the front. We«ll do some of the material of The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, The Everly Brothers, The Drifters, The Coasters. This gives us a new challenge - there will be costume changes, a lot of choreography. There will be a fake, live recording session - with "Mr. Bassman" Tony Cotton. We are sure that many rockabilly / rock & roll fans will show up for "The Kings Of Harmony". But please don«t expect a typicial Jets concert. We«ll be mainly in the front singing & dancing (laughs), with three or four musicians backing us up. In some songs we«ll be playing."
Ray Cotton: "We have one show up in theatre in June. In Henley, at the Kenton Theatre in Henley on Thames."
Otto Fuchs: "Okay, that was it already from my side. Thank you very much, indeed."
The Jets: "Thanks for looking after us, we enjoyed it."