• Johnny Kidd & The Pirates (1959)
• Mike West Band (Late 1959)
• Johnny Dark & the Midnighters (Early 1960)
• Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages (6 Months, June - Late 1960)
• The Federals (Early 1961)
• Chris Dors & The Del Fi's (Spring 1961 - 1962)
• The Sack'o'Woes (1962 - 1964)
• The Beat Society (1965)
Vic Clark was lead guitarist with Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages during 1960.
He was with them for about 6 months or more.
His first 'Paying' band was the Mike West Group. West was a back-up singer for Johnnie Kidd and the Pirates.
He also did stand-ins for the Pirates when either of their two guitarists were unavailable.
He got to know Mike West through sax player Pete Newman who had worked with Johnny Kidd in his Fabulous Freddy Heath Band during 1958.
Sometime later, Vic Clark, Carlo Little, Pete Newman, Johnny (Fruit) Gorden and
Mike West got together to form a band called The Federals after the Federal Road where Vic lived. They rehearsed a few times but it never really worked out.
The band gradually had a complete change of personnel and went on to record some records for EMI. Mike West went on to become Robbie Hood and his Merry Men, with some success.
Then Pete Newman and Vic Clark formed a band that led to Johnnie Dark being their singer.
As Johnny Dark and the Midnighters, they had a residency at The Black Bull in Whetstone. A pub run by Johnnie’s father that allowed them to have free rehearsals there.
One night Screaming Lord Sutch they were approached there saying he had this fantastic act and he needed a backing band. And they became his new Savages. The first who toured with him as the previous line up just had one gig and soon split up.
As Vic recalls:
“We had a rehearsal and Sutch did his first live gig ever the following Saturday at a place called 'The Athenian' at Muswell Hill North London. He did just one song called 'The Train Kept On Rolling' It absolutely 'brought the house down”
That was the time when Screaming Lord Sutch became an huge attraction at the 2I’s Coffee Bar and finally won his reputation. They obviously played a new music sound.
“We had a sound unlike anything in England at that time. We were probably ahead of our
time. The record companies considered us un-commercial. I guess the best way to describe our sound was the same genre as George Thorogood, but remember we were more than 20 years ahead of GT. So the Midnighters sound became the SLS sound.”
About his gear:
In the early days money was tight. In later days I played Gibson guitars using Vox amplifiers.
The only FX I used was a Copycat. This gave an echo (delay) effect but it could be a nuisance as it required tape loops. The tapes were always breaking and usually in the middle of songs. These were the early days of FX.
At first The Savages had no bass player, then they used occasionally a guy called “Whip” who use to freelance at the 2 I's. They finally recruited Chris Dors who studied at the Engineering Department of The Willesden Technical College.
As Dors signed a Recording Contract with Phillips Records on his own, both Vic and Chris left the Savages to form Chris Dors & the Del Fi's name suggested by Clark from the American record label. During this spell, they recorded at Joe Meek’s studio. Then Vic joined other Meek’s protegees, the Sack'o'Woes who eventually supported Jerry Lee Lewis and the Rollingstone at the Brighton Hippodrome, in late 1964.
He finally joined up with Pete Newman again in The Beat Society, a band that evolved into the Felder Orioles, prior to settle in Australia in 1966.
He’s actually the father of Malcom Clark, drummer of Aussie band Sleepy Jackson who have already release two succesful albums.
About The Sleepy Jackson
Trio from Perth, formed by Steele brothers Luke (vocals and guitar) and Jesse, with drummer Malcom Clark in 1998.
Luke Steele is the main composer of the band. He’s very inspired by the swinging 60s and 70s. They first released 2 Eps prior to record their debut album in 2003.
They have toured Europe twice and visited France in late 2003.
The Sleepy Jackson Releases
• "Lovers" (Virgin - 2003)
• "Personality" (EMI - 2006)
Photos Courtesy Vic Clark