The Clefs History
Ron Tremaine, the editor of Young Modern magazine who also played piano for The Delaires first noticed Tweed Harris. Tweed sat in one night and played beautifully, Ron complimented him and Tweed told him he was going to form a band called The Clefs. Ron said to him if you do let him know because he booked The Princeton Club. The Clefs did their first gig for Ron at the Princeton.
The rest is the story I shall try to recall as Tweed has passed away and unfortunately his early story has gone with him. I’ve always had a great admiration for him and his music; I have two great recordings of him when I joined The Clefs featuring his magnificent piano playing (Roberta) and also another track of him ripping into an organ solo (Bring it to Jerome). Fantastic.
The Clefs Original Lineup
Winston “Tweed” Harris (piano) leader: Garry Love (drums), Denis Marshall (sax): Howard Michael (guitar: bass): Michael Atkins (bass): Dick Richards (guitar): Pat Aulton (vocals):
The Viscounts (vocal group): John Michell: David Smith: Lou Tamblyn:l
Some of the many changes included Brenton Haye (sax), Tony Shepp (sax), Bob Jeffery (sax), Les Tanner (guitar), Keith Drage (drums), Vinnie Jones (drums), Trevor Pridham (vocals), Glenys Shearman (vocals),
The Clefs played many venues around Adelaide including residencies at the Princeton Club, the Thornton Club and The Miami Club, they also became the resident backing band for a weekly pop T.V. show called “Seventeeners” (ADS Seven).
The Clefs continued their successes until 1966 when Tweed decided he wanted to form a new group to go to Melbourne and compete in the burgeoning pop market, this is when I was approached to join The Clefs. I agreed as I was getting edgy in Adelaide and felt that I had to broaden my horizons if I wished to continue with my musical career.
A new Clefs line up emerged with Tweed, Les Tanner (guitar), John Young (guitar, not Johnny Young), Bruce Howe (bass), Vinnie Jones (drums) and Barrie McAskill (vocals). Bev Harrell was also singing in this line up although she did not want to move to Melbourne with us and stayed in Adelaide to pursue a very successful solo career.
This band cut its teeth around Adelaide at The Princeton Club, The Fiesta Villa, Big Daddies, The Octagon Theatre, The Scene and The Oxford Club.
The Clefs relocated and stamped their mark on Melbourne’s trendy Dance and Disco scene and appeared regularly on the top T.V. show of the time, Ken Spark’s “Komotion”, produced at Reg Ansett’s newly formed Channel 0. Also Bobby & Laurie's "Dig We Must"
A Melbourne booking agency, Eddie Floyd’s “Tenth Avenue Stables” took the management chair and the show was on the road. Some of the many venues were, The Thumpin Tum, Berties, Sebastian’s, Tenth Avenue, The Winston Charles, Opus, 431, Black & Blue, The Catcher, Show Go, Q Club, Ginza, Show Go, 5th Avenue, Pinocchio’s: Many Melbourne Hotels.
These are gig guides from Go-Set, Melbourne’s pop magazine bible were compiled by historian, Peter Millen.
on Saturday (Go-Set 20/7/66)
The Clefs were more than successful and became a major force in the rapidly growing Australian Music Industry; they recorded two hit singles, “A Boy Like Me / Bring it to Jerome” and “I Can Only Give You Everything / Roberta”. Then to become usual, the shuffle of players began Vinnie Jones returned to Adelaide and was replaced by Gil Matthews (drums), Bruce Howe, Les Tanner and John Young returned to Adelaide and were replaced by Les Stacpool (guitar), Doug Stirling (bass) and Bob Jeffery (sax) had joined us from Adelaide. Tweed and I were the only ones left of our conquering line up.
This line-up lasted for some time until Tweed was approached by the Australian Management Booking Organization to form a Super group, The Groove, I was offered the lead singer’s position but I chose to form the Levi Smith’s Clefs instead.
The Clefs Discography
of the Siamese Children / The Cruel Sea:
Gil, Bruce, Les, (DJ Barry) Bullen Barrie & Tweed
Sorry about the quality of some of these inserts, but I’d rather show them than not at all.