Heatwave (1969 ~ 1980)
1969 and The Moving Targets, formerly The Florins: John Fellows ~ bass/vocals (Norwood), Terry Shea ~ rhythm guitar/vocals (Peckham) and Richard Steen ~ lead guitar/vocals (Liverpool), were auditioning in south London yet again for a drummer and answered an ad., 'Have drums, will travel', in Melody Maker by Martin H. Samuel ~ (Mombasa), signed him on (drums/pyrotechnics) and the newly-named Heatwave took shape. They were a progressive pop harmony group, playing cover versions of the popular artists of the day, with lead vocals shared by Terry and John with a few songs from Richard – doing such local gigs as, 4 nights at The Boathouse (Richmond) for £40.00 total. Regular rehearsals were held at Richard's house.
In the winter of '69, John Edward Entertainment Agency was looking for bands and, having arrived at the audition early, Heatwave were outside listening to Spencer Mac (Bournemouth) when, someone said, "Let's not bother." Martin talked them into auditioning with, "We've come this far, may as well go in." They played: 'Papa Gene's Blues' (Mike Nesmith), 'Morning Dew' (Bonnie Dobson), 'I Shall Be Released' (Bob Dylan) and were asked to sign that night. Touring the country in an old Ford Thames van, playing four sets a night as a four-piece, was a hard but great life. They became a very tight vocal harmony band with a solid dance beat and, while earning a large fan following, often 'opened' for 'name' acts - e.g. 28th June 1969, Spooky Tooth ~ whom they 'blew off the stage' ... much to the delight of the teeny-bopper dancers!
John Edward believed the band did not have a strong enough voice to be a successful recording group and suggested recruiting a lead vocalist. This did not go down too well with John and Terry but, eager for a recording contract, they didn't argue and set up auditions with an advert in the Melody Maker. After what seemed like hundreds of strange and out of tune would-be singers, they heard Peter Allatt ~ lead vocals/percussion (Mansfield) and offered him the position. Prior to joining Heatwave, Pete was the stage manager of a West End strip club in Greek Street called Maxim's Revue Bar where the owner let the band rehearse until they were ready to hit the road as a five-piece.
The Ford Thames was traded in for a new blue Ford Transit (driven by John and Pete), reclining seats bought from B.O.A.C. were bolted in the back, and the group continued enlarging their following doing one night stands around the U.K. Three of many favourite venues played were: The Pheasantry (London), California Ballroom (Dunstable) and The Cavern Club (Liverpool) ~ where a brick with the Heatwave name is proudly displayed in the Cavern Wall of Fame.
A stage act was suggested whereupon, Martin turned up the heat with a pyrotechnic display of fire eating ~ even setting fire to himself on one occasion! By then, other bands would 'open' the show for them. The band's stage gear was made in Ganton Street, just off Carnaby Street by, The Carnaby Cavern, owned by Danny Benjamin and managed by his very good friend Colin Wild [R.I.P.].
Heatwave was invited to appear on the Terry Wogan radio show without having the usual audition and, from that, had the opportunity to record for the Dave Cash, Kenny Everett, Dave Lee Travis, Jimmy Young and Radio One Club shows ~ in fact, Heatwave became one of the most-oft heard 'live' professional bands on BBC Radio One between 1969 and 1971.
Written by Martin, the 5-piece regularly played the songs, 'It's Over Now' and 'Rainmaker Man'. The latter, with Richard on bottleneck slide electric guitar, was recorded at the BBC and broadcast twice on the Jimmy Young Radio Show via the BBC World Service.
Recorded in Pye Studios 16th October 1970, Heatwave released 'Sister Simon (Funny Man)' and 'Rastus Ravel (Is A Mean Old Man)' (PEN 738), 2nd November 1970, on the Larry Page Penny Farthing Records label. Both songs were written and produced by John Edward, ex-pirate radio DJ, for Instant Sound Production – the single featured back-up singers, Maggie Stredder, Gloria George and Marian Davis ~ known as The Ladybirds, with Rick Wakeman playing piano and Doris Troy singing back-up on the B-side.
Quite often at different clubs, BBC radio broadcasts were heard to emanate from Richard's Vox AC30 amplifier when on stage! On one occasion, Pete and Martin literally hijacked Radio 1 Club, while on the air, and played the A-side of the record while John, Rich and Terry waited outside in the get-away Tranny van. The record was a big thing in the band's life and, unbeknownst to them at the time, was also released in Germany and Japan ~ where it sold more copies than in the U.K. Word on the web is, the funkier B-side is still played in clubs in those countries today.
When John married Noreen and left the group, Terry took over on bass and Heatwave continued as a 4-piece. Martin left in 1971 to join Crew. 1980 and 11 years down the road, then playing as a trio comprised of Terry, Richard and Pete, the British Rail Servicemen's Club at Bulwell in Nottingham was the final gig and last hurrah for Heatwave.
14.8.2011, 'Rastus Ravel' uploaded by Kanta Usui to Y'Tube (Japan).
1.1.2012, Heatwave on rotation on Radio Northern Star (Norway).
15.4.2012, Heatwave aired by Eddy Bonte on Radio 68 (Belgium).
24.4.2012, the Heatwave Story published by Col Wolfe (England).
2.4.2013, 'Rastus Ravel' is track 4 on the bootleg album, Piccadilly Sunshine, Part 12: British Pop Psych and Other Flavours 1967-1971 (England).
11.4.2013, Paul Martin reviewed Picadilly Sunshine, Vol. 12 in Shindig! Magazine ... 'So here’s another hamper of low calorie sooth-sayers with pictures to paint. The indulgence food in this particular feast comes from Heatwave’s “phat” mod-soul funker, Rastus Ravel’ (England).
1.5.2013, vote for the best version of 'Rastus Ravel' at Forumusic (England).
5.8.2013, Heatwave Penny Farthing Records single song rights are owned by Larry Page who told Martin he has not licensed them since its 1970 release (Australia).
26.9.2014, Heatwave with drummer swallowing fire on LiveInternet (Russia).
24.11.2014, 'Rastus Ravel' track 50 on Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes MakinMoves Vol. 389 (USA).
19.1.2015, 'Rastus Ravel' uploaded to YouTube, using cover art from the 'Piccadilly Sunshine' bootleg album, by REBEAT Digital GmbH (Austria) – who filed a complaint with YouTube stating the Heatwave 24.12.2011 Y'Tube video, 'Rastus Ravel' contained copyrighted content. Martin filed and won a counter-claim... YouTube removed the video. REBEAT also listed the song for sale as an mp3 download on Amazon.com which Martin contested and it too was deleted.
1.4.2015, 'Rastus Ravel' track 89 on Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes WeWorkin Vol. 99 (USA).
2.11.2015, Heatwave is #4 in the London pop chart on NumberOneMusic (England).
5.12.2015, 'Rastus Ravel' is #1 in the London funk chart on NumberOneMusic (England).
31.12.2015, 'Rastus Ravel' track 62 on Coast 2 coast Mixtapes WeWorkin Vol. 257 (USA).
5.1.2016, 'Rastus Ravel' track 77 on Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes WeWorkin Vol. 261 (USA).
13.1.2016, 'Rastus Ravel' track 39 on Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes PopStars Vol. 20 (USA).
★ 4.2.2016, Heatwave reunion gig canceled (England) ★
Hi there everyone
Due to unforeseen circumstances I'm sorry to say I will have to withdraw from the reunion and will live with the many happy memories I have of our band playing music together.
Sorry for this sudden change of heart this is not how I wanted it to be but for personal reasons I have decided that the reunion is not the right thing for me to get involved in at this time.
I wish you all a very rockin' next fifty years if we last that long and hope that one day I will get to meet up with you all again just for old times sake.
Best wishes to you all
22.4.2016, ~ 100% commercial-free online radio ~ used Rastus Ravel in a newsletter (USA).
26.4.2016., Earbits wrote, 'Hey Heatwave, Great news! We are planning on posting about your music on our Facebook page (facebook.com/earbits) to our 60K followers. We're huge fans of your music. You guys rock!' (USA).