Frends/Frends Of Stan
The Frends of Stan Left to right:
Chris Teale, Keith Wilde, Jeff Pole and Derek Teale
“The Frends” main instigator of the group was Jeff Pole. The original line-up was: Keith Wilde (Lead Guitar), Chris Teale (Bass Guitar/Vocals), Vincent Philpotts (Rhythm guitar) and myself (Drums and the odd backing vocal). After a while Vincent Phillpots left the group and was replaced by Derek Teale (Chris’s brother) on rhythm guitar.We were very closely acquainted with “The Tarantulas”, another local beat group in Ilkely at that time. The members of the Tarantulas helped us to get our group started, and we were very grateful to them for all of their help. Eventually there was a degree of friendly rivalry between us and The Tarantulas. It was all high spirited and all very good fun. I was a young “rookie” drummer at the time and received help and tuition from Andrew “Nanoo” Horton who played drums for the Tarantulas.
Originally our group was called “The Frends of Stan”. However, as I remember, Pete “Stan” Dobson (Rhythm Guitar, The Tarantulas) wasn’t too happy about this, so we changed the name to simply “The Frends”.
The very first song that we learned together was Shakin’ All Over (Johnny Kidd and the Pirates). Later we became renowned for covering Rolling Stones and Yardbirds songs (Especially Smokestack Lightning). We covered lots of other songs that were famous at the time, mostly pop and Rhythm and Blues. You know the stuff, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley etc. etc.
I remember our first live appearance in Leeds. As I remember this gig had been organized by Chris. This was the first time that I had ever played live in front of an audience. I remember being very nervous before the event. A day or so before the gig I hurt my right foot playing football. I remember thinking how I will play live with the painful foot. After the first couple of songs I was no longer feeling the pain. I can remember thinking, after the gig, “this is my thing”. I had thoroughly enjoyed playing live in front of a very appreciative audience. I think we must have played Smokestack Lightning at least three times! After that gig I was never ever nervous again about being live on stage.
Playing in a band during this musical era was a hugely fulfilling experience. There was a huge feeling of camaraderie amongst the bands. I have many fond memories of this era. I can remember many of the events very vividly, however some aspects I simply cannot remember, much as I would like to!
Chris Teale rehearsing
Keith Wilde rehearsing
Jeff Pole at the Blue Genes club
The Frends getting their feet wet in a stream off Wells Walk in Ilkley
Left to right: Derek Teale, Jeff Pole, Chris Teale (front) and Keith Wilde.
4 photos of The Frends probably taken at the Queens Hall Burley
STORY By Jeff Pole (drums).
Mr Teale (Father of Chris and Derek) always appeared to be supportive of what we were doing. I cannot remember him making any objections that his two sons were playing in a beat group. If it hadn’t been for his help we would have been struggling with band transport, and we probably would not have had VOX equipment. So, his involvement was appreciated.
Even now I am still amused by the following event. Mr Teale presented us with 4 identical “V” necked pullovers to wear on stage. I remember being only mildly horrified, but not much was said. I had pointed out that it was rather late in recent music history to go on stage looking like The Shadows (Not that I have anything against the Shadows, great group of their time!). Music had moved on. Group members dressed more like individuals and the era of “group uniforms” had mostly disappeared.
Note the aforementioned pullovers in the attached photos of The Frends on stage, and that I had opted for an alternative.
I have spent most of my life playing drums, but not professionally (although at times there were opportunities to do so). During the early 80s I formed a Pop/Rock Show band called “Leap in the Dark” along with a girl vocalist, Karen Buckley from Renfrew, Scotland. Karen and I met while playing in a restaurant band (The Jack Wood quartet). We played every Saturday night at The Five Flags restaurant between Keighley and Halifax.
Previously Karen had been a solo artist on the social club circuit. After a while we both quit from The Jack Wood Quartet to start our own Show band. A little later Karen moved in to my house and after 3 years living together we were married in Halifax. The band continued for a number of years after we were married. Now, around 50 years after The Frends, I still have a drum kit, but not the original one (I am happy to say!). The original kit was a 4 piece Olympic kit finished in gold sparkle. Olympic drums were a budget range of the British Premier drum company.
I never liked the finish of this kit, but it was all that I could find real cheap at a local second hand shop. I remained with Premier drums for many years, having a number of different kits over the years. I now have a very pretty blue Yamaha kit as I could not find any Premier drums in The Dominican Republic where I am currently residing.
Over here in the Caribbean I have fallen in love with Latin American music and I am currently working on a plan to form a Latin American style band here in The Dominican Republic.
Even now the burning passion remains to be on stage playing live music, and is just as powerful as ever even though I am well the wrong side of 60. I could not even consider quitting the drums. I suppose that I am following in the footsteps of Ginger Baker, one of my greatest inspirations. I couldn’t imagine him ever quitting. So, as long as I have the will to play, and as long as I am physically able to play, then I intend to do so until someone nails the lid on!
Jeff seated behind the drums, at a large hotel on the North coast of the Dominican Republic whilst on holiday there in 2000, he now lives there.