Sunday, March 2, 2014

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men

REY ANTON & THE PEPPERMINT MEN-Wishbone/Kingsway U.S. ABC-Paramount 45-10652 1965

Bournemouth, U.K.'s Rey Anton cut a slew of 45's in his native country. He cut three as a solo artist on Oriole, one on the same label with The Batons and five with The Peppermint Men and three later ones with The Pro Form (with whom he appeared in the film "Date Line Diamonds" along with The Small Faces and Kiki Dee).
Today's item of interest was his seventh U.K. 45 (Parlophone R5245 February 1965) and to my knowledge the only one that garnered a U.S. release.

"Wishbone" is a gritty little piece of Chicago style r&b driven by a harp with a "Hi Heel Sneakers" meets "Big Boss Man" groove to it with some gritty vocals reminiscent of fellow r&b cats David John & The Mood. The flip side "Kingsway" at first almost sounded like an instrumental version of the A-side till I had a listen again back to back until I figured out it was not!  It does utilize the same harmonica and chugging guitar lick so beloved to mid 60's U.K. Chicago style  r&b records.

Rey Anton & The Peppermint Men

And of course not only are either of these tracks on YouTube but neither have surfaced on any compilations. In fact prior to finding this 45 I'd really not heard much of Rey Anton's stuff save the excellent sax driven "Premeditation" (cut with The Pro Form and released on the "New Directions:British Blue Eyed Soul" CD compilation)and the tepid r&b of the final U.K. single with The Peppermint Men "Nothing Comes Easy" (on a Psychic Circle CD of the same name). Whether The Peppermint Men became The Pro Form or they were an entirely different band is anybody's guess. If you know we'd certainly love to hear from you!


Christine Pratt said...

Martin Dry (on Base) and Ted Dry (Lead Guitar) were two brothers in the Peppermint men and lived in Farnborough, Hampshire up until their death. Martin(the youngest) passed away first and left a son, Jamie Dry. I was married to Martin. Jamie is our son. Ted had two daughters and the cousins, Jamie and Ted's two girls, are in touch today and also live in Farnborough. Did you know, Mick Jagger once asked Martin to be the Base Player for th Rolling Stones and Martin turned him down because the Peppermint Mens' prospects looked brighter (than the Stones), at that particular time. Rey Anton is still around but for years his whereabouts were unknown as he abandoned the Peppermint men. Martin and Ted Dry went on to form other bands and were known to play regularly at Lakeside, Frimley (Bob Potters place)and at other venues. Christine (nee Dry).

Unknown said...

Hi Christine
very interesting comments, thank you.
Do you or anyone know where Rey Anton is now though?
Steve Miller