Zany Woodruff Operation
The Zany Woodruff Operation recently had their 40th anniversary reunion
Although the line-up changed slightly over the lifespan
of the group, the rhythm section essentially remained the same.
Based in Cleckheaton, West Yorks, the band were:
Bass - Kenneth Rooke (alias 'The Gnome')
Lead Guitar - Peter Sewell
Hammond organ - Graham Lockwood (aka 'Khyber')
Drums - Martin Garside.
The group were also managed by Martins' eldest brother, John. Zany Woodruff were also augmented around 1967 with the addition of five other members - Andrea Hanson (aka 'Fandango') on female vocals, Russell 'Junior' Walker on tenor sax and Tony Light on trumpet. The outfit was rounded out with two 'go-go' dancers - Jill Stuart & Maureen Fordham.
History: The 'Woodruffs evolved from a lunatic group called 'Satan & The Disciples' of which Garside, Lockwood & Sewell were members.
Notables: The band had a loyal following around the Spen Valley with the groups' headquarters at two venues, The Continental Coffee Bar and later at The Royal Hotel (when we became old enough to quaff the amber fluid!), both in Cleckheaton. As Bradford area finalists in the April 1967 national group competition 'Search For Sound' held in London, we came in second place to the local band 'Mud'. Our fan club organisers, Anita Bell, Christine Boynton & Elizabeth Brook did a great job of organising a couple of coaches to the Streatham Ice Rink to help us along. We also recorded some covers and originals at Matt Mathias small studio at the back of his radio repair shop in Huddersfield (I still have the original quarter inch mono tape archived in my own studio to this day!). Mathias later went on to produce some great amps known to us Northerners as the 'Matamp' brand, but later were marketed down South as 'Orange' amps.
Demise: The Zany Woodruff Operation tried to evolve into a psychedelic style band with Garside & Lockwood reforming the group under the name of 'Museum' with guitarist Alan Holdsworth (yes, THE Alan Holdsworth) and bassist 'MacThrirt' - I can't recall his real moniker. However the outfit became relatively short lived, deemed too progressive for the soul dominated Northern scene.
Where are they now?
Graham Lockwood (unofficial Woodruff historian) - Sydney, Australia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Kenny Rooke - Still living in Cleckheaton when I last saw him.
Pete Sewell - Dewsbury, West Yorks & still teaching guitar last time I heard.
Martin Garside - Whereabouts unknown for some time.
Alan Holdsworth - Orange County , USA. We met up last in 2002 when he was in Sydney doing some jazz gigs.
Anita Bell - (now Anita Hunter) fan club secretary lives in Brisbane, Australia. Incredibly, we met up last year (2003) on Australia's' Gold Coast where she somehow managed to recognise me at a John Rowles gig where I was working as Musical Director.
Information supplied by Graham Lockwood
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