On a recent trip to the Hammersmith archive, the following pre-Who article was uncovered whilst Colin, Bernard and I were researching various newspapers on micro-film for future QPR articles. There, within a local Gazette dated 21st November 1963, was the headline: ‘The Detours are Finding Their Way to Fame’. Wonderful article and the rest, as they say, is history:
‘Are you getting fed-up with the Beatles ? Then try screaming for a home grown group: The Detours. I’m sure they would appreciate it.
Twenty-year-old Angela Dives of Gibbon Road, East Acton, is the girl to contact for information about the Detours. She is the President of their fan club (over 30 members and growing fast). And she has no doubts about the top-pop quality of her favourite group, though she wasn’t quite sure what made them so special.
‚ÄúThey have a good sense of humour,‚Äù she said after a little thought. ‚ÄúThey laugh and crack jokes. And they can play very good harmonies.‚Äù
The Detours are apparently a versatile group, too. They all sing, they all play the harmonica, one of their guitarists plays the trumpet as well and the vocalist plays the trombone.
The founders of the group got their experience years ago in the dark days of Skiffle. Then they formed the Detours guitar group in the summer, 1961 – and went steadily from success to success. Now the group, originally a five-man organisation, consists of two guitarists, a drummer and a singer: Peter Townsend (19), John Entwistle (20), Doug Sandom (25) and Roger Daultry (21).
Roger, the vocalist, and John, the bass guitarist, were with the group when it was founded. The others have joined since. What happens when you join the Detours’ fan club, I asked ?
‚ÄúWe send you a photograph of the group and a letter of welcome,‚Äù said blonde Angela, who operates an accounting machine when she’s not dealing with the Detours fan mail. ‚ÄúAnd we’re planning to send out a news letter as well, though nothing has come of that yet.‚Äù Applications for membership are, I’m told, coming in fairly steadily. The average is three a day.
‚ÄúAnd nearly all of them are from outside Acton,‚Äù said Angela jubilantly. ‚ÄúWe have members in Tunbridge Wells in Kent, in East London – all over the place !‚Äù
That’s nice. But the time to start really celebrating will be when the fan mail starts pouring in from Liverpool.’
Doug Sandom later made way for Keith Moon of course. I’ve come across Doug Sandom twice at local tribute band gigs in recent years. His presence in the audience at the now defunct Greenwood pub in Northolt was heralded from the stage by ‘Who’s Who’ as it was later at Ruislip Football Club when the excellent ‘Small Shakers’ acknowledged him.
Irish Jack very kindly sent me the above pic of the band which was taken at the White Hart in Acton in 1963 – my thanks to him for giving me permission to include it with this article.
Jack informed me that he managed to get back in touch with Angela Dives many years later. He also told me that she was a great help to him when he was compiling his book: ‘The Who Concert File’.