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Author Topic: Johnston Records - What was the story ??  (Read 1298 times)
Rob Dean
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« on: March 14, 2021, 09:59:06 AM »

Yep, around 1980 Bruce exec produced The Tremblers (New Peter Noone Band) and it appeared on his own label and distributed by CBS
There were a few other releases over the next couple of years (including another Noone album) and that was it
Such BBs related names such as Terry Melcher & Guy Webster were involved, also recordings taking place at places such as Gold Star and WAVES (where Mike recorded LBWL)
Considering that Bruce had recently got back into the fold, was he still forging a career away from the BB's ?
I find it quite interesting, so does anyone know what the whole deal was about ?
California Music Mark 2 indeed
« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 10:16:05 AM by Rob Dean » Logged
c-man
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2021, 12:14:56 PM »

Bruce spoke about this in a telephone interview with a local DJ in my hometown, June or July of '81. I have the interview somewhere, but not sure where, otherwise I'd give you the exact transcript of that part. But basically, he said he was looking to help Peter start a solo career, and help some new artists launch theirs. He mentioned "getting old", not in terms of being tired (as he put it), and wanting to look ahead to what he could do in the future within the music industry. In other words, I think he figured (like most of us did at the time), that the Beach Boys might have a few years of touring left at best, then the band would dissolve and they'd each do their own thing - this being his. As it turns out, he needn't have worried...
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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2021, 08:35:58 PM »

The Tremblers was an interesting project - Peter singing new wave style music with a group of guys nobody knew. Wonder if there are any live tapes of them? They didn't do ANY Herman's Hermits material on stage. In fact, there was a spat going on between Peter and the other Hermits, who'd decided to go on with another singer playing the part of Herman.
 By the time his solo album, One of the Glory Boys, came out, he was performing in Pirate of Penzance, so I don't think there was any proper concert tour for that album. And like the Beach Boys, his old material has had a longer shelf life than he ever expected. Seen him several times with his new Hermits, and it's an excellent show.
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Steve Latshaw
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2021, 06:08:47 AM »

"The Tremblers was an interesting project - Peter singing new wave style music with a group of guys nobody knew. Wonder if there are any live tapes of them? They didn't do ANY Herman's Hermits material on stage. In fact, there was a spat going on between Peter and the other Hermits, who'd decided to go on with another singer playing the part of Herman.
 By the time his solo album, One of the Glory Boys, came out, he was performing in Pirate of Penzance, so I don't think there was any proper concert tour for that album."

The Tremblers opened for The Beach Boys on a tour of the midwest in August of 1980.  I saw them August 10, 1980, at the State Fairgrounds in Louisville, KY.  I was covering the show for our college radio station WIDB (Carbondale, IL) and we were giving airplay to the first Tremblers LP, which was excellent.  I recently purchased it on vinyl.  Hours before the show, we met Peter Noone for an interview in a green room area directly below the stage.  He was 32 years old at the time and one of the nicest people I've ever met in the music business.  He was absolutely thrilled to be on tour with The Beach Boys; he was as much a fan as we were.  He geeked out over an original pressing of PET SOUNDS I'd brought. We did mention that the Hermits were actually booked (without him) to play a local roadhouse near Carbondale.  He smiled and said, "Well, after all these years maybe they've learned how to play the songs." After the interview, it was around lunchtime and the hotel adjoined the stadium.  He insisted on bringing us up to the hotel dining room to have lunch with Carl and Bruce.  He was such a fan, and knew we were, and was genuinely thrilled that he could do this for us. When we arrived, they were just finishing lunch but both Bruce and Carl graciously spoke with us about Peter's album and asked about our current playlist.  They were both genuinely interested in college radio,  I mentioned that we'd had strong positive reactions from listeners to School Days and Keepin' the Summer Alive from KTSA.  They both autographed the albums we'd brought.  Bruce immediately noticed the copy of THREE WINDOW COUPE by The Rip Chords was a re-issue.  That night the Tremblers were excellent.  A lean and mean 30 minute set, all new material, tight band, with Noone in fine form.  The Beach Boys show was excellent as well.  They played a lot of tracks from the new album, including a blistering take on the title song and Santa Ana Winds, a favorite of mine.  it was my first time seeing Dennis back since 1978... he was energetic as usual. though his voice was so rough I thought he was intentionally trying to sound like Donald Duck. I was 21 at the time and still fairly naive in those days about internal politics.  In the 70s and early 80s, we saw enough weird stuff on stage and read about it in the rock press to know everything it that world was a little off kilter but the historical perspective came later. After the show that night I ran into Mike in the hotel bar and we talked about the new album.  He was nursing a beer and clearly frustrated with it's brief run on the charts.  I mentioned Some of Your Love as a potential single and he said the label was leaning toward School Days.  It was a fun day for this fan and The Tremblers LP got a good run on our station.  I've never forgotten Noone's friendliness and generosity.  It truly felt like he was one of us.
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Conspiracy Jim
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2021, 08:18:03 AM »

Just looking up Johnston Records on Discogs, the only other artist outside of Peter Noone/The Tremblers to have a release on the label was Susan Lynch - an album and a single. I've never heard of her - anyone familiar? I know Bruce was pretty good at keeping up to date with some new stuff that was surprising (High Llamas for example), but I wonder what compelled him to sign what sounds like fairly anonymous early 80s rock?

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Lonely Summer
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2021, 10:33:56 PM »

"The Tremblers was an interesting project - Peter singing new wave style music with a group of guys nobody knew. Wonder if there are any live tapes of them? They didn't do ANY Herman's Hermits material on stage. In fact, there was a spat going on between Peter and the other Hermits, who'd decided to go on with another singer playing the part of Herman.
 By the time his solo album, One of the Glory Boys, came out, he was performing in Pirate of Penzance, so I don't think there was any proper concert tour for that album."

The Tremblers opened for The Beach Boys on a tour of the midwest in August of 1980.  I saw them August 10, 1980, at the State Fairgrounds in Louisville, KY.  I was covering the show for our college radio station WIDB (Carbondale, IL) and we were giving airplay to the first Tremblers LP, which was excellent.  I recently purchased it on vinyl.  Hours before the show, we met Peter Noone for an interview in a green room area directly below the stage.  He was 32 years old at the time and one of the nicest people I've ever met in the music business.  He was absolutely thrilled to be on tour with The Beach Boys; he was as much a fan as we were.  He geeked out over an original pressing of PET SOUNDS I'd brought. We did mention that the Hermits were actually booked (without him) to play a local roadhouse near Carbondale.  He smiled and said, "Well, after all these years maybe they've learned how to play the songs." After the interview, it was around lunchtime and the hotel adjoined the stadium.  He insisted on bringing us up to the hotel dining room to have lunch with Carl and Bruce.  He was such a fan, and knew we were, and was genuinely thrilled that he could do this for us. When we arrived, they were just finishing lunch but both Bruce and Carl graciously spoke with us about Peter's album and asked about our current playlist.  They were both genuinely interested in college radio,  I mentioned that we'd had strong positive reactions from listeners to School Days and Keepin' the Summer Alive from KTSA.  They both autographed the albums we'd brought.  Bruce immediately noticed the copy of THREE WINDOW COUPE by The Rip Chords was a re-issue.  That night the Tremblers were excellent.  A lean and mean 30 minute set, all new material, tight band, with Noone in fine form.  The Beach Boys show was excellent as well.  They played a lot of tracks from the new album, including a blistering take on the title song and Santa Ana Winds, a favorite of mine.  it was my first time seeing Dennis back since 1978... he was energetic as usual. though his voice was so rough I thought he was intentionally trying to sound like Donald Duck. I was 21 at the time and still fairly naive in those days about internal politics.  In the 70s and early 80s, we saw enough weird stuff on stage and read about it in the rock press to know everything it that world was a little off kilter but the historical perspective came later. After the show that night I ran into Mike in the hotel bar and we talked about the new album.  He was nursing a beer and clearly frustrated with it's brief run on the charts.  I mentioned Some of Your Love as a potential single and he said the label was leaning toward School Days.  It was a fun day for this fan and The Tremblers LP got a good run on our station.  I've never forgotten Noone's friendliness and generosity.  It truly felt like he was one of us.
Great story. Peter's a great guy, always takes time for his fans. He's one of the few that will stand and chat and sign until EVERYONE has got a photo or signed album.
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c-man
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« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2021, 05:52:05 AM »

Just looking up Johnston Records on Discogs, the only other artist outside of Peter Noone/The Tremblers to have a release on the label was Susan Lynch - an album and a single. I've never heard of her - anyone familiar? I know Bruce was pretty good at keeping up to date with some new stuff that was surprising (High Llamas for example), but I wonder what compelled him to sign what sounds like fairly anonymous early 80s rock?



Yeah, I remember seeing this album in a local record store here in my relatively small Nebraska town around the time of that Bruce radio interview I mentioned. I checked out the back cover, so I knew it was released by his record label. Didn't buy it, though, for some reason. My bad! In the interview, Bruce mentioned that they had signed both Peter and "a girl singer", but he didn't mention her name.
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Jodi Q
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2021, 03:43:48 PM »

"The Tremblers was an interesting project - Peter singing new wave style music with a group of guys nobody knew. Wonder if there are any live tapes of them? They didn't do ANY Herman's Hermits material on stage. In fact, there was a spat going on between Peter and the other Hermits, who'd decided to go on with another singer playing the part of Herman.
 By the time his solo album, One of the Glory Boys, came out, he was performing in Pirate of Penzance, so I don't think there was any proper concert tour for that album."

The Tremblers opened for The Beach Boys on a tour of the midwest in August of 1980.  I saw them August 10, 1980, at the State Fairgrounds in Louisville, KY.  I was covering the show for our college radio station WIDB (Carbondale, IL) and we were giving airplay to the first Tremblers LP, which was excellent.  I recently purchased it on vinyl.  Hours before the show, we met Peter Noone for an interview in a green room area directly below the stage.  He was 32 years old at the time and one of the nicest people I've ever met in the music business.  He was absolutely thrilled to be on tour with The Beach Boys; he was as much a fan as we were.  He geeked out over an original pressing of PET SOUNDS I'd brought. We did mention that the Hermits were actually booked (without him) to play a local roadhouse near Carbondale.  He smiled and said, "Well, after all these years maybe they've learned how to play the songs." After the interview, it was around lunchtime and the hotel adjoined the stadium.  He insisted on bringing us up to the hotel dining room to have lunch with Carl and Bruce.  He was such a fan, and knew we were, and was genuinely thrilled that he could do this for us. When we arrived, they were just finishing lunch but both Bruce and Carl graciously spoke with us about Peter's album and asked about our current playlist.  They were both genuinely interested in college radio,  I mentioned that we'd had strong positive reactions from listeners to School Days and Keepin' the Summer Alive from KTSA.  They both autographed the albums we'd brought.  Bruce immediately noticed the copy of THREE WINDOW COUPE by The Rip Chords was a re-issue.  That night the Tremblers were excellent.  A lean and mean 30 minute set, all new material, tight band, with Noone in fine form.  The Beach Boys show was excellent as well.  They played a lot of tracks from the new album, including a blistering take on the title song and Santa Ana Winds, a favorite of mine.  it was my first time seeing Dennis back since 1978... he was energetic as usual. though his voice was so rough I thought he was intentionally trying to sound like Donald Duck. I was 21 at the time and still fairly naive in those days about internal politics.  In the 70s and early 80s, we saw enough weird stuff on stage and read about it in the rock press to know everything it that world was a little off kilter but the historical perspective came later. After the show that night I ran into Mike in the hotel bar and we talked about the new album.  He was nursing a beer and clearly frustrated with it's brief run on the charts.  I mentioned Some of Your Love as a potential single and he said the label was leaning toward School Days.  It was a fun day for this fan and The Tremblers LP got a good run on our station.  I've never forgotten Noone's friendliness and generosity.  It truly felt like he was one of us.


I was at that show also. Here is a local review i found if you a momento






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Steve Latshaw
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2021, 04:45:34 AM »

Thank you.  That's a bizarre story.  I remember the limo entrance and exit now, which is strange because the hotel they were staying at was right next door to the stadium.  You literally walked out of the stadium into the hotel.
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Jodi Q
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2021, 06:56:31 AM »

Did you see them when they returned there in 1982?
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