Bonneville - Trouble
Nervous Records, NERCD097
Nervous Records CD Release King Ed Single Release

We go way back, Ian and me. I met guitarist Ian Smith in the early 80s when he played rhythm guitar for Chevrolet. Before that he was also a founder-member of the legendary Crepes 'n' Drapes. After leaving Chevrolet, Ian joined Bonneville and in 1984 he gave me promotional tape that I have kept very carefully ever since. You can imagine I was very much surprised to see that now, 16 years later, I found these studio tracks - that I have cherished for so long - on a brand new CD. This stuff should have been released ages ago, it's that good! I wonder why it took so long for someone to recognise that Bonneville was much more than just a local Teddy Boy band.

A very good selection was made from the old studio tapes, 15 tracks in all, most of which are Bonneville originals written by Ian Smith and only one (Trouble) was issued before. Maybe some other tracks were not all that great, but I do think they should have been on this CD anyway, just to be complete. There were more tracks on the demo-tape. Classics like "Ghostriders In The Sky", "Lonesome Train" and "One Hand Loose" are not included on this new Nervous CD release, but I can tell you that this platter has already earned it's place in history!

-- Marijn Raaijmakers, a.k.a. The BlackCat, 2000 --

Liner notes; The Bonneville Story:
Gloucester has always been one of England's rock 'n' roll strongholds and back in the mid 70's, like many other areas in the country, it was experiencing a huge rock 'n' roll revival. In the thick of it was Tuck Trull and a gang of like-minded bikers who all hung out together. One of the gang had previously been in the near-legendary combo Crepes 'n' Drapes, whose "Boogie Bop Dame" had been one of the revival movements' anthems. It was decided that they would form a band and as they all rode Triumph Bonneville motorcycles the band was named Bonneville. As many bands do, Bonneville took shape in the back room of a pub with the band drawing influences from 50s rock 'n' roll and also the rare rockabilly that was now beginning to become available. Tuck once told me "We were lucky back then, because in this area, you could have thrown a stone up in the air and chances were that it would have landed on a rock 'n' roll musician. There really were that many." 

Within a few months the band were playing local gigs and found it easy to get work. They also entered a talent contest in London which got them noticed by the right people and soon Bonneville were making a name for themselves on the national rock 'n' roll circuit, rubbing shoulders and sharing the stage with the likes of Crazy Cavan, The Flying Saucers and The Jets. The band gained quite a following and with more work flooding in, their position on the bill was steadily rising. Before too long they were also being booked for several of the early, pioneering all-dayers and weekenders that were springing up, such as the festivals held at Weymouth and The Isle of Wight.

Another well respected rock 'n' roll outfit from the Gloucester area were Chevrolet, who being friends of Bonneville passed on the name of a Dutch promoter, resulting in the band gigging in Holland. Later Chevrolet's guitarist Ian Smith would join Bonneville and co-write much of the original material. The tracks contained on this CD were all recorded in the early 1980s, but at the time only one song saw its way to vinyl. The classic Ted track "Trouble" was snapped up by the then fairly new Nervous label who released it on a compilation LP and later licensed it abroad as a limited edition single. The remaining Bonneville tracks lay in the vaults of the local studio in which they were recorded, all but forgotten.

More than 15 years later in 1999. a chance meeting between Tuck and Rockabilly musician Alan Wilson, led to a conversation about Bonneville, who had by now long since split. Alan was both surprised and excited to hear that there was more Bonneville material that had never been released. Upon investigation, Tuck discovered that by some minor miracle Howard, the original sound engineer on the sessions, had managed to find the old master tapes, even though his studio had closed down some 5 years beforehand. Within days Alan had not only struck a deal for their release, but persuaded Tuck to start gigging under the old name again. After a few phone calls to promoters and with all this sudden interest in the album a new line up was put together for live work. Suddenly these great old recordings were forgotten no more.

What you are now listening to is a classic slab of rock 'n' roll which captures the mood and style of its time brilliantly. The fact that these recordings almost never saw the light of day, makes this CD an even more valuable slice of history.

-- Des Hoskins --

Ian Smith (right) with Crepes 'n' Drapes Nick Ferris & Ian Smith, Chevrolet 1982

Bonneville line-up:
Dido Vance - Vocals
Ian Smith - Lead Guitar & Vocals
Brian Fry - Bass & Vocals
Tuck Trull - Rhythm Guitar & Vocals
Dave Watts - Drums
Mike Pettett - Lead Guitar (on tracks 1, 8 & 14)

Trouble / Sip Sip Sippin' / Jumpin' Jumpin' / Teddy Boys / Rockabilly Beat / Miffs Riff / What Do You Want? (Rock 'n' Roll) / Bonneville Hop / Ain't No Holding Back / What You Fancy / Pipeline / Never Can Tell / Rockabilly Baby / Dog House Rock / All Night

Bonneville Management/Info:
PO Box 1672
Frome BA11 4YE
United Kingdom

At a pub in Camm 1983, Left to right:
Ian Smith, Paul Chappell, A. Friend, Me, My Wife

-- The BlackCat, 2000 --