About onemillionfuzztoneguitars

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 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 sepatate 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 has now reformed One Million Fuzztone Guitars after 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. ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 6. (The COURTNEY BOURNE Experience) Robert Courtney – Guitar, Drum Machine, Keyboards. Phil Bourne — Guitar, Keyboards. 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, Bass, Drums & Drum Machine Programming, Piano, Keyboards, Viola. ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 8. Robert Courtney — Guitar (Bass & Drum Machine Programming) David Courtney — Guitar 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, Bass, Drums & Drum Machine Programming, Piano, Keyboards, Viola. ONE MILLION FUZZTONE GUITARS # 10. Robert Courtney — Vocals, Guitar. Dr Snake - Guitar. Keith Gotheridge - Drums

The Greatest Unreleased Album Ever?


Skin Patrol – ‘Rock Section’ live in Derby 1978

skinpatrol 1400 72

Supporting the awful band Fashion in Derby, a very early, maybe the first version of Rock Section live from 1978, a two song gig then off to hospital, though I must admit the injury and destruction was down to us, the audience were quite polite considering. Part two of a 2 track set, once the P.A. had been rebuilt following their rendition of ‘Riot On Sunset Strip’, “Do you want to do some more?”.

Big Jake.

The last ever Skin Patrol Session 19 August 1981

131 Rehearsal

So the legendary 131 gig tape is a mangled up basket case of analogue technology with Rock Section missing, but there is a tape of the rehearsal for that gig which is here. Two minute agit-prop gems that got them into so much trouble that the group was banned as ‘not in the public interest’, well let’s let the public be the judge of that. So this is the day before the gig as described in the novel ‘131’, a set run through, and what a run through it is. As relevant today as it was then.

Being only recently discovered there is also the first drum machine version of Rock Section at the end when Steve went home to pack for his forthcoming adventures. So in the absence of the gig version I ask you to just use your imagination, (Jim thought this sounded like Schoolly D) it did have real drums live by the way.

The same day (19 August 1981) Skin Patrol recorded 90 mins of new tracks but that is for another day……

Don’t be dumb, be RADICAL.

Big Jake.


released June 22, 2017

‘Planting a Tree’ – One Million Fuzztone Guitars, Live 1983

Dusting off their copies of ‘Rock and Roll Animal’ and ‘Funhouse’, One Million Fuzztone Guitars take to the Persian carpeted stage of the Newshouse in Nottingham for a Hard Rock work out of old favourites and the new, never before released ‘Planting A Tree’, the only live recording we think.

Play it Loud!

Big Jake


released June 22, 2017

‘Country Rock’ the final One Million Fuzztone Guitars session

Another one unearthed from the Vaults of Rock.

As far as we can figure out, the final recorded session of One Million Fuzztone Guitars. Let us know if you know different. Three country rock tracks with a tinge of psychedelia. Brother Dave Robbins gets the cover shot for obvious reasons. Pull up that chair on the veranda, pour yourself a glass of Jack D and enjoy.

Big Jake

Recorded some time in late 1984?