History of Bad Manners 2
I have great memories of each member:
Matt Godwin, Baritone Sax, was probably the most amazing athlete I have ever seen. He could drink a whole bottle of whisky and then play a gig, I would like to see Beckham bend a ball after that.
Dave "Essex" Welton, is the only man on earth who could play trombone and Hammond organ, while drinking Red Stripe, and giving a girl his "Special Lover Smile" in the space of 2 bars of "Lip up Fatty".
Winston Bazoomies, Harmonica, spoke five languages, we think, and could smoke 10 cigs whilst sleeping. He loved milk. The only real problem was he thought hygiene was a tall girl.
Alex Arundell, Trumpet, is the only person I have met whose aspiration was to be the worst trumpet player ever. He quit the band after many years and went to work for Tesco where he was fired for helping old people steal food. He now drives a bus now for London Transport. I suppose he must have succeeded.
John "Skullhead" Thompson, Bass, my old mate...the Northerner. John was the living legend and master in the art of sarcasm. We roomed together for years and are still in touch. Great mate.
Louis Cooke, Guitar, taught me a lot about Bad Manners Ska. I can't remember most of it now, but it came in handy at the time. Louis now lives in France; most of us have had to emigrate to get away from the Curse of The Bad Manners Bus.
JT, Violin, Johnny was a great violin player and toured with us many times. Great showman and good to have on your side when trouble broke out. JT plays with LQJ now.
Rico Rodriguez, Trombone. I played with Rico on several tours. The man was, and is a legend, and a true gentleman. Times spent with him were truly a pleasure, except those scary gigs in The Falls Road on Orange Parade Day. You have to be suspect when the promoter is called Fergus O'Looney. That was a very Bad Manners Day.
Dave Turner, Harmonica, played with us for several years after Winston took early retirement. He has been the a life long fan of the band and is responsible for the history pages on the Bad Manners site. Dave was and still is a great addition to the band.
Judge Dredd, Big Six, Big Nine, Up with the Cock.... need I say anymore. The Judge toured with us for several years, coming on in the middle of the show. He was a remarkable character, and there are not many like him anymore. Sadly, the Judge died on stage several years ago. I was lucky to have known him and played with him.
Buster Bloodvessel, Vocals. What can I say about the man, other than what goes on the road stays on the road. Buster is the Captain Mannering of Ska (Dad's Army), and I would not be where I am today if Doug had not changed my life by giving me the job of drummer. A truly prestigious position. It allowed me to travel the world in really dangerous modes of transport and get paid for it. Cheers, Doug.
I can't finish this page without talking about the guys who would get us to the show.
Big Roydon, Original Driver, Stage Manager. Roydon was just a huge crazy skinhead who made sure nothing happened to us. I have seen Roydon walk down The Falls Road wearing Army Greens and a Bad Manners t-shirt. That should tell you enough about the man.
Herman, Driver. This man could drive all night, and was a great man to have along, until he drank "Special Brew". This would send him a little crazy. Many a morning someone else, normally his brother, Alex, or Jah Varney as he was known, would drive while Herman slept off another bender.
Phil, Driver, better known as Reg Varney. Phil always made us laugh, and was reliable. Prone to gas though. When you are on a bus that smells already, this can be a real problem.
More important than all of this is that Bad Manners keeps the SKA scene alive and kicking. While other bands flaked, The Manners have kept on going. Buster is truly a Legend and I would take the opportunity to see them if you get the chance. I am not sure when they will quit, I suppose when Buster has a bluie on stage like our old mate Judge Dredd.
Good health Doug...............
Steve DiFranco (AKA Stephan Oldham) - 6/25/2004
By autumn 1988, the Bad Manners line up that was to last almost 10 years was finalized:
· Buster Bloodvessel - Vocals
· Louis Cook - Guitar
· Winston Bazoomies - Harmonicas
· Rico Rodriguez - Trombone
· John Thompson - Bass/dry humour
· Judge Dredd - Singer
· Stephan DiFranco - Drums
· Dave Essex Welton - Trombones/Key boards/white socks
· Matt Godwin - Tenor/Baritone Saxophones (Player/Manager/Boozer)
· Alex "no means yes" Arundell - Trumpets
· David Turner - Harmonicas