Sunday, 2 December 2007

Shades of Blue by Fred Bowes Bass Guitarist

Shades of Blue were not just any old rock band; in 1967 they made history. The three original guitarists, Fred (me) on bass guitar, Howie on Rhythm guitar and Mick on lead guitar, were the founder members of the band.

Imagine the difficulty we faced with all of us being in an Army unit, in West Germany, and trying to form the band. We had to put up with many obstacles such as, time away on military exercises (6 – 8 weeks in those days), military duties that we all had to undertake and a swine of an RSM who seemed to have it in for all three of us. In spite of all this myself, Mick and Howie worked extremely hard to form the band, originally with a drummer who was the son of a serving Army SNCO and who constantly failed to turn up for rehearsal, but eventually with Roger, who was a great drummer and who was, thank goodness, reliable.

We formed not only one of the best rock bands in Germany, but we formed a bond between us that was almost like super glue and is something I will cherish always. I have to be totally honest and say that bond really only exists now between the three original guitarists who still stay in touch and meet on regular intervals, even though one lives in Cyprus, one in Germany and the other in God’s country, the NE of England! Sadly, Roger, our drummer, does not share this bond we other three share.

To have been the bass guitarist of the band has been one of my greatest achievements along with winning the first and one and only Army Beat Group competition on 20 April 1967. It was a well deserved result because we had worked hard to achieve the high standard of music we played; a lot of it, self composed. Winning resulted in a slot on the Fall in the Stars show in London and a day in a recording studio.

To have known Mike and Howie has been an honor and their friendship is something I will always treasure for as long as I shall live. Our recent reunion, in Detmold, Germany, to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of winning the competition, was just fabulous and very much like old times. All three of us, after the press interviews, walked around Detmold remembering bars that we used to drink in and clubs we used to play in. I must pay tribute to Howie’s wife, Monica, who hosted us all so well during the reunion in Germany and who also produced some wonderful meals; I think that Mike and myself put on a few kilos that week.

The Reunion formal shot; Hobart Barracks, Detmold, Germany, 20 April 2007

Shades of Blue; a truly great band that will live on in the minds of many around the world and which played a major and most enjoyable part in my life and which still does.

Fred Bowes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

People should read this.