1965 Re-grouping, re-shaping, strong singles but no chart action
January Tour of Hamburg and other local cities.   No-one under 18 is allowed to be in the St. Pauli area of Hamburg after 10pm when patrols sweep the clubs looking for underage persons.  As a result, the 17-year old John Weider can only allowed a maximum of two days' work by law.  To get round this, Barry Hammett (right) of the Primitives is been drafted in to be a Pirate for the month. 

Vic Cooper had left the unwieldy organ at home and is relying that a piano would be available at all venues.  This was something that the gig promoters are rather unhappy about as they see the organ as an integral part of the Pirates act.  Nevertheless, the group are well received as ever.

February During the first week of February Clem Catinni - the last surviving original member - walked out of the Tornados.  During his time with this group he had a few fall-outs with their mentor, Joe Meek.  During the recording of "Globetrotter" (the follow up to "Telstar") Meek asked what did they think of it, and Clem was honest and said that he didn't really like the song.  Next moment all hell broke loose and Joe chased him out of the flat.  Rushing downstairs, he heard this loud clatter behind and turned to look.  Meek had only thrown a large EMI tape recorder after him! 

By April he was beginning a fruitful career as a session drummer and was also back on the road backing The Ivy League.  The Tornados would continue, and later this year would collapse completely.  Meek's answer was to continue by essentially re-naming the Saxons, another of his other groups as the Tornados, hoping no-one would notice.  They probably didn't, but it didn't stop audiences appreciating them at their appearances.  Their creator Joe Meek committed suicide in Feb 1967 and the Tornados, although carrying on for some months, finally wound up their account later that year.

February The band play at the Town Hall in Stourbridge, Worcestershire in the West Midlands (date unknown) for the Fred Bannister Organisation.
February 16th Kidd was attempting different types of material in his act, especially soul to which his voice was well-suited.  On this day he recorded a driving version of Otis Redding's "Can't Turn You Loose" which remained unreleased as HMV were unsure of what to do with it.  A pity really as Cliff Bennett - another singer with a powerful voice - was doing quite well with this type of material.
February 19th RELEASE: "The Birds And The Bees"/"Don't Make The Same Mistake As I did" (HMV POP 1424).  A speedily-issued single, the topside was (apparently) still being worked on less than a week before release and features Vic Cooper prominently on Organ.  "Record Review" believed that Kidd's take was catchy enough to match Jewel Aken's original version.
February -March The group play some one-off gigs in south Wales.  Dates included at Morriston, supported by local start The Eyes Of Blue; Merthyr Tydfil; plus the grand opening of the Rhythm 'n' Blues club in Swansea.  Barry Hammett's parents' home became a good stopover place for the group when in the area.
March 11th Kidd's crew, along with Heinz, Dilys Watling, the HiFis and Dodie West appear on a BBC TV special "Off The Record" at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition.

Around this time Johnny Kidd and the Pirates made their final television appearance on Granada Television's "Five O'clock Club" promoting their current waxing.

March "Disc Weekly" reports that Kidd is due to record a song written by Rod Argent of the Zombies, "Somebody Help Me".  This jazz-waltz number number (the style was made briefly popular after "Go Now" by the Moody Blues hit no.1), better known as "I Want You Back Again", was a Stateside-only A-side for the Zombies.  It is not known if Kidd recorded this fascinating choice of song.
March 28th The Agincourt Ballroom, Camberley.  Although undergoing changes in its appearance over the years and even badly affected by fire the name of the club continues to this day in Camberley's London Road, just west of the town centre.
April 20th Today sees Kidd's remake of "Shakin' All Over" at Abbey Road, most likely prompted by Canadian band the Guess Who right, (originally 'Chad Allen & the Expressions') getting a version out and making it a hit in the US Hot Hundred.  Kidd's four-track master tape survived in EMI's vaults and would be exhumed for re-mixing into stereo for release on the 1992 "Complete" 2-CD collection and on subsequent compilations including 2008's 2-CD set, "The Best Of...".
April 24th The California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
Russ Sainty and the Nu-Notes
Geoff Mole and the Diggers
Admission 7/-
May Former Pirate Johnny Patto is playing lead guitar in the Frays, who are contracted to Decca and release their single "Walk On" this month.  Also, original Pirate drummer Ken McKay's group the Muldoons also have a single out this month.
May 7th RELEASE: "Shakin' All Over '65"/"Gotta Travel On" (HMV POP 1397).  Another speedily-released single, the topside has been completely renovated.  The drums play an alternating off-beat (for wont of a better description), the famous descending bass/guitar riff has been replaced with an alternative bassline run from Johnny Spence which is not mirrored by any other instrument.  Instead John Weider plays had ringing chords and plays a solo which all but breaks his strings, plus we have both piano and organ thrown in for good measure.  It will not be the hit the band need.

Unknown to Kidd and his crew, the song is being recorded all over the world, using its original riff of course.  Click here to read more.

June 25th
JV 02829 - The Palace Douglas
Palace Ballroom, Douglas, Isle Of Man.  Every Thursday would be a star group attraction and on Thursday 25th June it was the turn of the Pop Pirates.
July 3rd Winter Gardens Pavilion, Weston-Super-Mare.  A capacity crowd saw the Kidd, plus local band the Krestas.  Also appearing were the house band led by Ken Birch
July 31st, Saturday Ventnor Winter GardensWinter Gardens, Ventnor, Isle Of Wight.  "Admission: 7/6.  Fully Licensed.  Coached to and from Cowes, Ryde & Newport."  So no excuse for not going then.  Supporting them were Davy Jones and the Lower Third.  Jones would later find fame as David Bowie.  Also as support was Neil Andersen  Pictured right is the Winter Gardens as it used to look around 1965.  It is still there today albeit with a few more adornments and lights, plus some additional neighbouring developments.  Click for a larger picture.
August 14th A German date at the Walkbuhne Club, on a bill with The Kinks; the Pretty Things; Screaming Lord Sutch; The Fortunes.
19th September Brian Gregg sees chart action on this day when the group he is with, the Pack (from Calne in Wiltshire) see their version of "Do You Believe In Magic?" enter the charts the same day as the original from the  Lovin' Spoonful.  They also appeared on TWW (Television West & Wales) "Discs A Go-Go", produced in Bristol.
September Kidd & co have completed another stretch at Blackpool.  John Weider leaves - he originally joined the group to replace Mick Green toward the end of the run at Blackpool last year.  He is replaced by Jon Morshead. 

Around this time, Pirate fans the Hollies informed the New Musical Express that they had written a song for Kidd.  TONY HICKS: "We have this song which we are sure would be right for Johnny.  I wonder if he would contact us?"  The hollies were good mates of the Guv'nor, and would be invited to attend his forthcoming wedding to Jean early in the New Year.

JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES #7 Johnny Kidd (vocals); Jon Morshead (lead); Johnnie Spence (bass); Frank Farley (drums); Vic Cooper (keyboards).  (September 1965 - April 1966)
October 2nd The California Ballroom, Dunstable, Bedfordshire
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
Admission unknown but bound to be something.
October 14th Johnny Kidd posterThe band appear at the Ryde Castle Hotel, Isle Of Wight.  The venue has been going through a lean period, and the band were booked for the princely sum of 75 on the belief that they were the only band that was thought capable of packing the place.  Local support act the Meteors met the group off the boat and spent an enjoyable day with them.  Then came the gig itself - where the Meteors borrowed the Pirates' amplifiers - which was only attended by 75 people.  The venue's manager had staked his job on this booking, but as the gig was an apparent victim of competition from other dances going on that night, he came second.
November 27th An international evening date, at "La Locomotive" club in Paris.  It is going to be far from straightforward for tonight Johnny Kidd is unable to perform - because his passport has expired!  Hence, Johnny Spence, Frank Farley, Vic Cooper and John Weider perform a 'solo' Pirates gig.

Click on the individual pix on the right to see larger, rare shots of the band members onstage this night.  Thanks to Bob in France!

  "Ecstasy" was included on the soundtrack of "Up the Junction" (BBC1, broadcast 3rd November), a controversial and mould-breaking TV drama watched by nearly 10 million on first transmission.  A record 400 viewers complained to the BBC, mostly about the bad language and depiction of sexual promiscuity.  At the time, "Up the Junction's" depiction of abortion had a major impact, contributing to the national debate which led to the legalisation of abortion in 1967.
December Joe Brown had secretly bought his mother a house and got his friends to furnish it quickly and quietly.  Johnny was one of the decoys before taking her to the grand the revealing.
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