facebook_16
CarnabyPic1 LIGHT

ABOUT JOHN

John-Callihane

I was brought up in Brixton, South London, where my formative years co-incided with the arrival in the UK of the first influx of West Indians, who brought with them a rich mixture of cultural and musical influences.  I remember Saturday mornings spent in the market listening to the sounds of what was then called ‘Blue Beat’. The atmosphere down Electric Avenue used to be just that ‘Electric’.

 

The main radio station at that time, was Radio Luxembourg where you were much more likely to hear sounds that would become termed ‘Soul Music’.  This was the music that I was really in to.  Even before I left school I would head for the West End at the weekend, where like-minded individuals, Mods, would spend their time at clubs such as the ‘Flamingo’ in Wardour Street, or ‘The Scene’ in Ham Yard off Piccadilly Circus.

 

 

 

Sunday and Tuesday nights would be at ‘The Lyceum’ in The Strand and Mondays at ‘The Locarno’ in Streatham.

 

In 1963 I went to work in Carnaby Street as a display artist for ‘John Stephen’, the main player in Mod fashion.

 

A little later I met the rest of the guys that would become ‘The Carnaby’. We were originally called ‘The Stateside Souls’, but our manager, Robert Orbach’ thought re-naming the group would be a wise move.  So ‘The Carnaby’ was born.  After we came back from the South of France in 1966, for various reasons, we decided to call it a day.

 

I became the Manager of a clothes shop in Kensington Church Street called Mr. Freedom which was frequented by everyone in the music business.  From there I went into the Perfumery business where I spent the rest of my career in International Sales.  By this time I had married and had two children.

 

In 2000 I decided to get myself a drum set and since that date I have been playing continuously for various bands, incorporating all styles of music.  I intend to keep on going as long as I can pick up a drum stick – or, hopefully, two.