One Million Fuzztone Guitars

Rock Section

One Million Fuzztone Guitars live at the Band On The Wall in Manchester 1982

Robert Courtney, One Million Fuzztone guitars founder member, composer, guitarist and singer was born in the UK, surviving an early childhood in Jamaica and Guernsey, and Art School.

Early influences “My Boy Lollipop” by Millie Small, “Bachelor Boy” by Cliff Richard and “Telstar” by The Tornados.

Despite an early love of pop music, a non-musician who preferred the sounds and feel of Formula One and Formula 5000 cars (as a very young spectator) until he heard “Silver Machine” by Hawkwind, followed by seeing them live at The New Theatre, Oxford.

Given the chance to combine and replicate these two experiences at a friend’s house with a Zenta Telecaster “copy”, a Wem Copycat, Coloursound Fuzzbox, Selmer T&B Amp and Homemade 4×12 cab (Orange Vinyl covering), the artist heard on these pages was (re)born.

First recorded Music in 1976 at Trent School Of Art Using a multi-tracked (1/4″ 4-track) Classical Guitar, played using own systems based notation through an H&H Echo Unit at various speeds, an organ at the local Cathedral again played with systems notation and field based recordings of journeys, water and electronic household objects.

History of One Million Fuzztone Guitars:

Robert Courtney’s first live performance was with the Group “Cycle Annie” at Trent Polytechnic in 1977.

Second live performance with the Group “The Post Impressionists” at The Boat Club, Nottingham, in 1978, featuring Harry Stephenson of Stiff Records band Plummett Airlines on bass.

Third live performance with the Group “Skin Patrol” at The Sandpiper Club, Nottingham in 1978.

Skin Patrol went through many line-up and stylistic changes before becoming “One Million Fuzztone Guitars”, after a brief rehearsal period known as “The Graveyard”.

One Million Fuzztone Guitars released two singles “Heaven b/w Annuese” and “Men’s Hearts b/w Creepy Crawl” and an LP “(Roman, I Have Some Bad News For You) 26″ on the Manchester based “Monsters In Orbit” label, before disbanding.

Robert Courtney recorded two One Million Fuzztone Guitars LP’s during five separate sessions (later released as “Everything’s Happening” on Slot Records in 1988 under his own name) shortly before moving to London and recording the also unreleased “Blue Baby”, “Guitars, Girls and God” and “New York” LPs.

Robert Courtney then went on to record some long improvised One Million Fuzztone Guitars live sessions with Guitarist Phil Bourne, (formerly of sister Manchester band “The Colours Out Of Time”) entitled “Sister Rave”, shortly before forming the Group “Doll” as guitarist and composer.

Doll’s demise after one year was followed up by the long time rehearsing, but short lived (one gig in Oxford) Group, “Liberty Cushion”, a band fronted by Martin Spear (ex lead vocalist with Oxford based MadamAdam), that played obscure cover versions with Robert Courtney on Rickenbacker Bass Guitar put through a separate H&H PA System and a Marshall Guitar Stack, (described by the venue promoter as “either the best or the worst bass playing I’ve ever heard, it is difficult to decide which”).

Robert Courtney relaunched One Million Fuzztone Guitars also recording tracks for the “God of A Small Planet” and “Automatic Kaos Foundation” LP’s

In more detail:

CYCLE ANNIE

Formed in late 1976 as a punk outfit. Did no more than 4 gigs. Personnel sometimes included Harry Stephenson of Plummet Airlines on bass.

Robert Courtney — Guitar.
Richard Elgood — Vocals.
Kent Hewitt — Bass.
Phil Denton — Drums.

Kent Hewitt was later to form the bands “Kent & the Home Counties” & ”Rubbish”.

SKIN PATROL # 1

Formed on Friday 13th January 1978. Specialised in Stooges and Velvet Underground cover versions, and psychedelic punk jams based on lyrics by Rick Elgood and riffs by Robert Williamson (Courtney). No definite drummer was used though usually it was Bob Fawcett of Nottingham based “Some Chicken”.

“Some Chicken” wrote the great song “Number 7″.

Robert Williamson (Courtney) — Guitar.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Bass.
Richard Elgood — Vocals.
Andrew Turnbull — Lead Guitar.
Leon — Drums.

Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) came from the “House of Wax”. Formed in 1974 — split 1976, the “House of Wax” was a heavy rock outfit based in Crewe which also featured future Fuzztone Dave Robbins. (See below).

SKIN PATROL # 2

September 1978 — July 1979. Progressed to self-penned set of “Death Rock” numbers, including “Rock Section” (November 1978, after a series of séances with Jim Morrison), which became a stage favourite, although the group itself was extremely unpopular.

Robert Williamson (Courtney) — Vocals / Guitar.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Bass / Guitar.
Richard Elgood — Drums.
Oliver Hoon — Guitar / Bass.

Oliver Hoon came from the Derby based “Pre-De” and later formed “Beatsville / Capersville” with Richard Elgood.

SKIN PATROL # 3.

May — September 1980. Reformed group follows Williamson’s excursion into the world of Avant-garde jazz in Nottingham and Hoon & Crewe’s return from the North, disillusioned with the “Manchester Sound”. Resultant bizarre funk group gathers large following with audiences spilling out onto the stairs of venues, coupled with interest from those involved in “Noise Abatement”. Group splits due to musical differences.

Robert Williamson (Courtney) — Vocals.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Bass.
Oliver Hoon — Guitar (Leaving to “Anti Pasti”).
Steve Harvey — Drums (Leaving to “Medium Medium”).

GRAVEYARD.

Pre – One Million Fuzztone Guitars. Recorded one demo in a cellar. Songs included: “I Meet The Night Alone”, “Passionate Love”, “I Kneel Beside Your Graveside”, “Heaven”, “Annuese”, “Rock Section” and the classic “Blue Baby”, all later firm stage favourites of One Million Fuzztone Guitars.

Robert Williamson (Courtney) — Vocals / Stylophone.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Bass / Stylophone.

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 1.

Originally a duo, the Fuzztones formed in August 1981 with Beausoleil joining in early 1982 to augment the Stylophone / Drum Machine based group. Released the single “Heaven” in January 1982 to a mixed reaction from press and public. Gigs during 1982 usually frantic, involving plenty of clothes, fighting, smoke bombs etc.

Robert Williamson (Courtney) — Vocals, Guitar & Stylophone.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Bass & Vocals.
Chris Beausoleil (Barnes) — Stylophone & Casio.

NB: Beausoleil joined the Fuzztones after seeing a very early gig in the summer of 1981 and being very impressed with their Velvet Underground Medley.

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 2.

Group finally reaches breaking point with their already very limited sound. Recruit Andrew Shread as drummer in July 1982. Record second single “Men’s Hearts” in October 1982. Produced by Dave Robbins of the “Colours Out of Time”, Robbins joins the group in January 1983.

Rob Williamson (Courtney) — Vocals, Guitar.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Bass & Vocals.
Dave Robbins — Guitar & Vocals.
Chris Beausoleil (Barnes) — 60′s Italian Organ.
Andrew Shread — Drums.

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 3

The surviving core trio record the LP “26″

Robert Williamson (Courtney) — Vocals, Guitar.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Bass & Vocals.
Dave Robbins — Guitar & Vocals.
Art Deakin’ (Taxi Driver) – Drums

THE KINKY MACHINE

The OMFTG trio perform one gigs worth of 60’s cover versions, at The Garage, Nottingham as “The Kinky Machine”.

Robert Williamson (Courtney) — Vocals, Lead Guitar.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Drums
Dave Robbins — Bass & Vocals.

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 4.

Robert Williamson (Courtney) — Vocals, Guitar.
Crewe (Andrew Dickinson) — Bass & Vocals.
Dave Robbins — Guitar & Vocals.
Steve Harvey – Drums (due to Steve Harvey’s commitments to Medium Medium the Drum slot can vary)

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 5.

“Everything’s Happening” LP

Robert Courtney – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drum Machine Programming, Piano.

John E Moon — Drum Machine Programming, Bass, Keyboards.

Scott Kheil – Drums

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 6.

Robert Courtney – Vocals.

Big Jake – Synth.

Mad Dog – Guitar Lead & Effects.

Rock Section – Drums.

The COURTNEY BOURNE Experience

Robert Courtney – Guitar, Keyboards.

Phil Bourne — Guitar, Keyboards.

Rock Section – Drums.

DOLL

Robert Courtney – Guitar, (Guitar, Bass, Drum Machine, Keyboards on demo recordings)

PH — Vocals

SM — Drums

KL — Bass

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 7.

Robert Courtney – Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Keyboards.

Big Jake – Bass.

Mad Dog – Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Viola.

Rock Section – Drums.

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 8.

Robert Courtney — Guitar

David Courtney — Guitar

Big Jake – Bass.

Rock Section – Drums.

LIBERTY CUSHION

Robert Courtney — Bass

David Courtney — Guitar

Martin Spear — Vocals

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 9.

The “God of a Small Planet” and “Automatic Kaos Foundation” LP’s.

Robert Courtney – Vocals, Guitars.

Big Jake – Bass.

Mad Dog – Piano, Keyboards.

Rock Section – Drums.

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 10.

Robert Courtney — Vocals, Guitar.

Dr Snake – Guitar.

Keith Gotheridge – Drums

ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 11.

Robert Courtney – Vocals, Guitars.

Big Jake – Bass.

Mad Dog – Piano, Keyboards, Viola.

Rock Section – Drums.

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