Originally named the Confederates and founded by 14 year old Rhythm Guitarist Alan Greenfield who lived in his father’s pub the Simla Tavern in Heath Road, Thornton Heath – the group’s name was changed to the Corvettes as soon as we started getting gigs. These consisted of a Heath Clark School Dance and some private parties and social clubs. I was 19 at the time I was asked into this band.
The instrumental lineup didn’t include bass guitar until 18 year old lead guitarist Mick Gray’s friend Gerry Lynch joined, who I’d already met through bass player Roy Greenfield, Alan’s older brother. It was originally intended that Roy should join us but we got Gerry instead. This was almost a year after the Corvettes were formed. Gerry was streets ahead of us musically and the group’s name was changed to the Hustlers at Mick Gray’s behest, while drummer Malcolm Belfield with his one-snare-and-cymbal drum-kit was replaced by full-kit Fred, who wouldn’t give his surname. The Hustlers played one gig at the New Addington Community Centre and immediately folded up.
The next thing I recall was Mick, Gerry and myself calling on 16 year old rhythm guitarist Brian Curtis in Mersham Road with a view to forming a new band together, which never materialized beyond several rehearsals.
Instead, I found Brian and myself forming the Cascades with Mick Gennoe [lead guitar], Bob Larson [bass guitar], both also 16 years old and Roger Harman on drums, who at 22 years of age was a year older than me and the only member with a full driving-licence and vehicle of his own. This band also changed its name to the Castaways, while I acquired the stage name of Chas Deane to avoid confusion with charts-band Tony Rivers & the Castaways as soon as we learned of their existence.