The Young Bucks are formed in Newcastle by Pat Rafferty and Tony Wadsworth. First gig is the University Fine Art Dept Xmas Party. Still without a name, inspiration comes from Bogart’s “Key Largo” – “I’m looking for a couple of young bucks in fancy shirts who busted out of prison”.
Band is instantly popular. John Glynn moves to London and joins proto punks ‘X Ray Spex’. His replacement is Archie Brown, sax player and songwriter with local band ‘Pylon’. Band starts playing Monday nights at the “Cooperage” which is sold out for the next two years. Summer ’77 Tim Wilder is replaced by Seb Shelton.
Band records its first single “Get your feet back on the Ground” which becomes single of the week in ‘Sounds’. Summer ’78 band moves to London and signs to Tom Watkins, later to manage ‘Pet Shop Boys’, ‘Bros’ and ‘East 17’.
Steve Brooks quits Spring ’79 to become a dragonfly expert at the Natural History Museum, and is replaced by Geoff Lincoln. Seb Sheldon dons a mohair suit and joins ‘Secret Affair’ with whom he has a couple of hit singles and a hit album. He subsequently exchanges his suit for torn dungarees and joins Kevin Rowland in ‘Dexies Midnight Runners’, has a worldwide hit with ‘Come on Eileen’ and hit album ‘Too Rye Aye’. He is replaced by Geoff Rich, now with ‘Status Quo’.
Archie becomes lead vocalist and another sax player is brought in, Dave Winthrop formerly of ‘Supertramp’ and ‘Chicken Shack’. By the summer of ’79 Thatcher is Prime Minister, Pat is not seeing eye to eye with Tom Watkins, Archie is “upset” and forms a new group. Tony is biding his time. The band’s latest gig is Cirencester Agricultural College in July ’79 supporting ‘Slade’.
Summer ’79 Pat returns to Newcastle to work as a musician in a theatre company. He then joins ‘Arthur 2 Stroke and the Chart Commandos’, then ‘Dust on the Needle’ and ‘The Mick Whitaker Band’. The bass in all these is provided by Ian Thompson. Tony works briefly in ‘The Savoys’ with Paul Martinez (Robert Plant Band) and Pick Withers (‘Dire Straits’) but quickly starts his meteoric rise in the music business working for ‘Logo’, ‘RCA’, and ‘EMI’, which culminates in him becoming MD for ‘Capitol’ and ‘Parlaphone’ UK.
Archie forms the ‘Upset’, has one single and is approached by Kevin Rowlandless Dexys Midnight Runners. He joins the band as singer, records one album under the name ‘The Bureau’ and tours America with ‘The Pretenders’. They have two hit singles in Australia. The band split and Archie joins forces with Dave Cairns formerly of ‘Secret Affair’ and they form ‘The Flag’. They record one album for ‘Skotti Bros’ in the USA.
In the summer of ’85 Pat, Archie and Tony meet at a mutual friend’s wedding and the following day meet to record on a portastudio. The sound is instant and during Autumn ’85 and spring ’86 ‘Bring me the Head of Jerry Garcia’ is recorded at Elephant Studio in London. Ian Thompson and Geoff Lincoln provide bass, and Ray Laidlaw and Tony Cook drums.
The ‘Jerry Garcia’ album is released in early ’87. Tony continues his ascent in the music business, Pat is working as a lawyer in Newcastle. In the summer of ’87 Archie is spotted busking on the London Underground by German artist Leni Hoffmann. She loves the music and arranges a short German tour. Within a week of arriving the band is offered three separate record deals and signs to Dortmund based ‘Plane’.
Two albums are released ‘Jerry Garcia’ and ‘Rafferty, Rafferty Fish’ and the band tours Germany extensively. Tony can’t make the tours and is replaced by Pat Cunningham, Irish guitarist/songwriter who played with Archie in the ‘Bureau’ and subsequently by Paul Rose, a Geordie guitar hero, later to be voted guitarist of the year in ‘Guitarist’ magazine.
By 1990 both Geoff Lincoln and Archie had relocated to Newcastle. Tony Cook is replaced on drums by Steve Dolder and then by Neil Ramshaw, formerly of ’21 Strangers’ and who played with Pat in ‘The Mick Whitaker Band’.
Due to difficulties in replacing Tony Wadsworth and his various successors on guitar, Archie buys a Fender Telecaster and starts playing the lead guitar. Geoff Lincoln leaves to join ‘Kathryn Tickell’ and is replaced by Kenny Potter and then Ian Thompson who had been playing with ‘Sid Griffin and the Coal Porters’ in America.
To further complicate matters Jon Payne persuades Archie to form a London band. Jon Payne produced an album using people from both bands, and in summer 1993 “Young Bucks in Fancy Shirts” is released by Chris Donald of VIZ. A young manager called Matt Parkin attempts to guide the ship but is soon sent packing.
‘Dirt and Romance’ is recorded throughout ’95. The Newcastle Bucks are joined by Bren Gore and Gerry McLaughlin, old school chums of Pat from Manchester. Robert Ward, acoustic guitarist in the ‘London Band’, is tragically killed by an express train. His funeral is so mobbed that it stops the traffic. He was only 27 years old.
Archie releases solo album ‘Prisoner of Fender’. Jim Hornsby, legendary country guitarist, plus the amazing Paul Smith on drums feature strongly. Ian Thompson joins ‘Lindisfarne’ and is replaced by a familiar face, Geoff Lincoln. After seven years Neil moves on and in comes Rob Walker on drums.
2000 – 2001
‘Turks Head Soup’ is recorded with the working band and studio musicians. Phil Screaton joins the Bucks on guitar and Neil Ramshaw returns on drums, (Rob Walker joins the QE2, the Ship as opposed to the Tribute band.) The indispensable Paul Smith and Jim Hornsby plus Bradley Creswick, leader of the Northern Sinfonia and Martin Fletcher, local harp hero all guest on the album. Fran Brown sings two duets with Archie and brings the house down when the album is done live at Live Theatre Xmas 2000.
2000 and beyond
The Young Bucks continue to perform in their native North East and often make trips to London where in recent years they have shared the stage with Geno Washington and Zoot Money at the legendary 100 Club on Oxford Street. The Young Bucks have also played the main stage at Rhythm Festival (2009 and 2011), performing alongside The Proclaimers, The Beat, Toots and the Maytals and Imelda May. Archie Brown has also written music for TV, most notably the award winning series ‘Something Special’ and ‘Barnaby Bear’.
Archie releases an acoustic album, ‘A Weakness of Mine’, featuring Pat Rafferty, Ian Thompson & Bradley Creswick. A sell out Cluny 2 hosts the album launch.
A new album, ‘Elysian Fields’, is released featuring Pat Rafferty, Tony Wadsworth, Roger Hempsall, Ian Thompson & Bradley Creswick. The title track is co-written with Dexys ‘Big’ Jim Paterson. A packed Cluny 2 once again hosts the album launch whilst the Daily Mirror gives the album a 4 star review.
A new band and a new sound launches Archie’s current album ‘2 for Joy’ at a packed Summerhill Bowling Club.
Two special gigs are held, one in London and one in Newcastle, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Young Bucks single ‘Get Your Feet Back On The Ground’. The original recording band Tin Wilder, Steve Brooks, Tony Wadsworth and Pat Rafferty join Archie at a packed Peckham Liberal Club to play a special ‘old’ Young Bucks set!
Archie releases an album, ‘Blazing Trails’ with former Bureau guitarist Pat Cunningham.