John Snell's Brief History.

I have been a professional musician for 50 years or so, and now retired. HOORAY !

I first started playing guitar in 1963 at the age of 17 when a pal of mine at school (Audley Park, Torquay) Tony Ives, offered to teach me "Apache" by the Shadows. He had a Fender Strat and I spent hours learning everything I could from him. I was hooked ! The first band I joined in 1964 was the "LAST TIK BAND" ( formerly the TELSTARS of Torquay). I worked with band leader Tony Waldron at Torquay music shop Paish & Co, and he asked me if I would like to join the band on sax. A week or two of begging and grovelling and my dad bought me a Conn tenor sax. A few lessons followed with Tommy Dunlop and my sax playing career began.

The Last Tik Band. 1964-1968.

The LAST TIK BAND 1964. Left to right : Wiley Barber-drums, Tony (Spud) Gorman-bass, John Snell (me) - tenor sax, Tony Waldron-vocals & keyboards, Bob Pring-guitar. A great band and lots of fun.

The Indiana Highway. 1968-1970.

Torquay based soul band The Indiana Highway. About 1968. Another band that was great fun to be in. Left to right back row : Bob Pring-guitar, Dave Klinkenburg-drums, Steve Culverhouse-trumpet, Dave Mumford-bass. Front row : Barry Privet-keyboards, Arif Assif-vocals, John Snell-tenor/alto sax and flute. Not shown in photo is Norman Lindon - tenor sax, and also Ricky Davey (Randall) who replaced Norman on tenor in 1968. Sadly Ricky passed away in early 2015 and we all miss him. A great player and friend.

"SUBDUED HUBBUB" at the Shiphay Manor Club. 1970-1973.

The Shiphay Manor Club, Torquay. 1970-73. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of all members of this great band "Subdued Hubbub". We were fortunate to be signed by EMI in 1973. On the left is myself on guitar, with Rod Smith on bass. On the right is Robert Shaw on the drums. Not shown is Keith Setters - brilliant Hammond organ & superb vocals (later replaced by Ginger Taylor) and Mickey Jaques-guitar.

The Hip Hooray Band. 1974-1980.

Some info on the Hip Hooray Band can be found in the book "Oh No! It's Local Rock and Roll" by Barry Sowden. I played with this Exeter based band for the best part of seven years. I think the highlight was backing Basil Brush at the Old Vic in London. If you read the book you will see we played a new years eve gig in Dubai in 79/80, where we were paid 10,000. Months later I was paid my cut by the band leader. It was 30 ! I left the band soon after as you can imagine ! Left to right = Bob Lynch- keyboards, myself-guitar/tenor/alto sax and flute, Mack Rae-tenor sax, Grenville Downing-trumpet & flugel, Derrick Tolman-sound engineer (later replaced by the Chief - David "Chiefy" Hitchcock), Roger Pike-drums, David Mulvihill-bass (band leader), and Robin Phillips-guitar. Me on the right on stage at the Dolphin holiday camp, Brixham on a Country & Western night.


Torbay based band SKYLINE featured the wonderful voice of Annette Smith accompanied by Geoff Hawkey (Bass), John Snell (Guitar & Saxes), Nik Ramsay (Drums) and Steve Linden (Keyboards).

"OCEANAIRE". 90s and on.

In the mid 90's I teamed up with old musician pal Terry Pascoe to play as a duo onboard the luxurious MS CROWN ODYSSEY (34,242 Gross Tons, 1,221 passengers and 470 crew - now named "Balmoral" and increased in length to 218m and weight up to 43,000grt, 1,340 passengers, operated by Fred Olsen Lines). Terry is a great musician and singer, and even playing seven nights a week for months at a time was most enjoyable. On the Crown Odyssey Terry sang and played a mini grand piano plus a Roland keyboard, while I played saxes and guitar. Other gigs and other ships have followed plus gigs with local trio "Raffles" featuring the impressive John Reeves on vocals and keyboards. All in all - great fun !

Send Mail


Back to the main page.