musician and songwriter John Ozoroff
ABOUT PAGE John Ozoroff
Whitefriars School, Cheltenham was a place of learning run by priests
to a very strict regime and John remembers it well. "You got three whacks
of the cane for talking in class and had to say 'thank you father' after
every stroke! I used to say something similar (if you get my drift), but
not too loud!" It was, however, an excellent school and you came away
with a good education says John (shown bottom right).
Long John To Elton John
Schoolmate Bernie Holland at age 12 was in the same boy band as John
and he went to join up with Long John Baldry. The keyboard player in that
band was Reg Dwight and everybody laughed when he said he was going solo,
but he changed his name to Elton John and the rest is history. Bernie
also played with Joan Armatrading, Jody Grind, and got 'stuck in the middle'
of Steelers Wheel.
Pennies to Quarry Men
After joining up with Lionel Morton, Alan Buck and Mike Wilsh of 'The
Four Pennies' (No 1 hit 'Juliet') John played many live gigs up and down
the country. When Duff joined the Four Pennies on keyboards for a run
of dates he met John and the pair worked together on the 'Open For Engagements'
album, bringing in Rod Davis on guitar and re-forming The Quarry Men as
a live band. A previous Liverpool recording session with John, drummer
Charles Hart and original Quarry Men, Rod, Duff and Len Garry resulted
in an album of covers which was never released.
The band plays a lot less frequently these days but John is always up
for a gig whenever, wherever. Long gaps between gigs though, means he
can indulge in his own band 'ROXY' an excellent pop covers band, who play
corporate functions and weddings and are always heavily in demand!
Email For ROXY or Four Pennies Availabilities
click here to get in touch via the online contact
The Quarry Men (continued from the home page)
.....Incredibly, a poor quality recording of this performance made by
Bob Molyneux, a member of St Peter's Youth Club, turned up in 1994. Molyneux's
tape, auctioned by Sotheby's on 15 September 1994 for $100,000, includes
only two songs, "Baby Let's Play House" (Gunter) by Elvis Presley,
from which Lennon would later appropriate the opening line for his "Run
For Your Life" and Lonnie Donegan's "Puttin' On The Style".
According to various accounts, the Quarry Men also performed the Del Vikings'
"Come Go With Me" (Quick), Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight
Rock" (Cochran-Fairchild) (both on the 'Open for Engagements' CD),
Lonnie Donegan's "The Cumberland Gap" (trad.) and "Railroad
Bill" (trad.), "Maggie Mae" (a traditional, rather bawdy,
Liverpool song that the Beatles later recorded in 1969) and perhaps for
the first time in public, Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" (Vincent-Davis).
7 AUGUST 1957, Cavern Club, Liverpool was the Quarry Men's first appearance
at what would become recognised as the home of the Beatles and the birthplace
of the Merseybeat. At the time, the Cavern was primarily a jazz club.
John tested the prohibition against rock 'n' roll by allowing the band's
repertoire to stray from skiffle towards Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins.
The manager Bob Woolmer once passed him a note onstage, "Cut the
bloody rock!" By the time the Beatles left Liverpool, they had played
the Cavern 292 times.
9 JUNE 1957, Empire Theatre, Liverpool was the first verifiable performance
of the Quarry Men. It was an unsuccessful audition organised by Pete Shotton
before impresario Carroll Levis for the Discoveries television show. They
didn't even make the preliminary auditions
When John thought of changing the name of the band they became 'Johnny
and the Moondogs'. Stu suggested 'The Beetles' an idea he got from the
Buddy Holly band The Crickets. They were then known as 'The Silver Beetles'
before dropping the 'Silver' to become 'The Beetles'. John later admitted
he had once had a dream aged 12 when a man on a flaming pie said, "You
will be the Beetles with an 'a' " and so it was.
Three of the remaining Quarry Men, Len Garry, Rod Davis and John 'Duff'
Lowe later reformed the Quarry Men with singer/guitarist/songwriter John
Ozoroff, drummer Charles Hart and bassist Richie Gould. From that partnership
came the CD 'Open for Engagements' (entitled after The Quarry Men first
ever business card) which was mastered at Abbey Road. It contains original
songs and tracks from the original the original Quarry Men set list. Tracks
of note include the tribute to John Lennon 'John Winston', a 'Lennonesque'
poem 'Life of Sleep' and the intriguing 'Shinto'.