Wednesday, March 4, 1998        The Banffshire Journal

Pop Legend relives Swinging Sixties

Banffshire butcher John Stewart will take a trip down the memory lane of the rock world tonight (Wednesday) when he recalls his days as a member of one of the North-east’s top bands.

Mr Stewart who has shops in Portsoy and Banff, will tell of his life as a professional musician with Buckie beat band Johnny and the Copycats – later known as My Dear Watson – in an hour long interview on Keith Community Radio.

The band shared the bill with many of the great groups of the 60’s, including The Beatles, The Hollies, The Kinks and Billy J. Kramer.

On Wednesday’s programme, Mr Stewart will be playing music from various bands and artistes who influenced him and the band.

His play-list will also include some of the records produced by Johnny and the Copycats and My Dear Watson, including “Elusive Face” which many should have been a hit.

Unfortunately, national and international stardom eluded the band but they had a huge following in the North-east, particularly in the Buckie, Keith and Elgin areas.

The band – all the members came from Buckie – started in 1962 and turned professional a year later.

They toured Germany – where Mr Stewart met his wife Gudrun in Munich – for five years and also played in France.

The band appeared twice on the same bill as The Beatles – at Green’s Playhouse in Edinburgh in 1963 when Beatlemania had just taken off.

Mr Stewart recalls the Fab Four saying “They were just ordinary guys, I remember meeting The Beatles and when we were introduced to them, Paul McCartney was playing Ringo’s drums and George was wandering about speaking to people”.

“John was a bit stand-off-ish but they all spoke to us”.

“I remember at the end of the tour we got a letter from Paul McCartney thanking us for appearing on the same bill!”

But the band was due to appear on the same bill as The Beatles, a year earlier – at KEITH!

Mr Stewart said: “We got on the bill first of all because our agent, Albert Bonici, held the rights of all the bookings in Scotland for The Beatles”.

“We were due to appear with them on Hogmany night in Keith but they got stuck in the snow and didn’t make it and all the bookings they were supposed to do in the North of Scotland were scrapped”.

The other band members, who all live in the area, were Iain Lyon (lead guitar), Bill Cameron (bass guitar) and Rob Lawson (drums).

The programme goes out at 8.30pm on Wednesday and fans should tune in on 102.8FM for Mr Stewart’s interview with Colvin Cowie