Other Bits

This section is a collection of articles too short to devote an entire page to and other miscellaneous items that didn't seem to belong in the primary sections of the site.  

Click on the thumbnails to see larger images.


This is a 1967 Christmas message from the Ellis-Wright Agency on behalf of Timebox and their other acts.
Image kindly provided by John Halsey.

     (excerpt from article in Melody Maker, August 17, 1968)

Music triumphed -- despite accidents, rockers, rain and neighbors -- at the Eighth National Jazz Blues and Rock Festival...

Mercifully the downpour stopped just before the show was due to start on Friday night with Taste and Timebox, who warmed up the crowds despite the traditional cry of "Get off" from a small army of rockers in town for their idol Jerry Lee Lewis...

TAIL-PIECES BY THE ALLEYCAT (from New Musical Express, March 8, 1969)
Deram successully launched the first of a planned series of Personal Appearance Nights for the labels artists at London's Lyceum on Tuesday.  Among the artists pictured above (who gave their services free) to support their label were The FORTUNES, FLIRTATIONS, TIME BOX, EAST OF EDEN and NEIL MacARTHUR, Label chief WAYNE RICKERTON is at the top of the stairs.

Note: Original picture is small, so it's not very clear.  Timebox is at the top of the stairs.

Full-page advertisement for WEM amplification that lists Timebox.
From Melody Maker, Sept 6, 1969

These cartoons, taken from January and February 1970 Melody Makers, were likely created by Tony Benyon (1st Patto LP cover artist) and sponsored by Trigrad Entertainments, then Patto's management (Roger Simpson).  They are similar to ones that Trigrad hired Tony Benyon to create in 1970 for another Trigrad band, May Blitz (with future Boxer drummer, Tony Newman).    


Advertisement for Trigrad Entertainments.
Image kindly provided by John Halsey.

PATTO AT FAREWELL (from Melody Maker, June 5, 1971.  Note the early mention of Dick and the Firemen)

LOCAL objections and "police pressure" have closed the all-night sessions staged on Fridays at North London’s Sisters Club, promoter Roger Simpson told the MM on Tuesday.

Last all-nighter takes place tomorrow (Friday) when the "farewell bill" features Patto, plus Mike Patto’s specially-formed big band, Dick and the Firemen.

Quiver are also on the bill.

Says Roger: "We expect some 30 names to turn up for this last gig. We hope to be able to re-start the all-nighters after the summer. They were very popular."

UNTITLED (fan letter from unknown music publication, circa October 30, 1971)

WE ATTENDED a superb concert by Patto at Dundee University on Saturday, October 23. Unfortunately Patto, being a relatively unknown band except to those who appreciate good music, did not receive favourable reaction from the audience, the majority of whom seemed to be there for a pick-up and nowt else. Quiet passages on vibes were accompanied by constant chattering, disturbing both the group themselves and those who were eager to listen.

The only good thing Scotland has to offer is whisky. They couldn’t tell a good band if it was stuffed up their nostrils. – ZIGGY AND OLLIE, Brands Hotel, Ceres, Fife, Scotland

PATTO FOR U.S. ( from Melody Maker, July 29, 1972)

ON the strength of a date last weekend with Joe Cocker at London’s Rainbow Theatre, Patto have been asked to tour America, Japan and Australia with Joe Cocker and the Chris Stainton Band.

Patto are also recording an album, produced by Muff Winwood, for Island entitled "Roll Em, Smoke ‘Em, Put Another Line Out" for October release.

This will be issued September in the States to tie in with their American tour.

THE RAVER, a regular column in Melody Maker, sometimes had short blurbs that were Patto-related.

1-25-69:  Mike Patto and John (sic) Halsall of Time Box have written the theme for a new film, "Love From Linda"...

3-2-68:  Time Box's greyhound, also called Time Box, has won all three races at Clapton Stadium.

2-8-69:  Time Box's singer Mike Patto raised the alarm when he spotted a fire in a flat opposite Klook's Kleek, Hampstead, while taking a breather between sets.

2-6-71:  Patto banned from London’s Speakeasy following outburst from vocalist Mike Patto. The band were in middle of a fine set which was being utterly spoilt by a crowd of musical hot-heads. Patto chose a few dainty words in an attempt to correct the noise. Speakeasy management took offence to the words. Somewhat unjust.

2-13-71:  First, dearies, here's a commercial for that fine brand of musicians, Patto.  The four toothsome young things have hired themselves out for a gig at Kensington Town Hall, on February 26.  Hosts?  The Gay Liberation Front.  Mike Patto, teasing enfant-terrible that he is, reckons he's going to appear in leotards, so all interested in Michael's lallies are invited to troll along. Patto were especially asked for, and manager and agent, Roger Simpson, was all in favour. "Something should be done," he said.

Date unknown:  Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys sat in on vibes with Patto at the Speakeasy last week. Also present were Eric Boredom, Zoot Money, and Tim Rose.  Mike Patto and Zoot Money do a wonderful cabaret turn. Patto does impersonations of "Ducks in Flight" and "The Last Chicken In The Shop" which are models of taste and propriety, and Zoot has a great future as a straight man. The face, Mike, the face!

8-16-75:  One way to cool off in a heatwave – get thrown in a swimming pool.  It happened to MM's Karl "Streaker" Dallas at the Manor Recording Studios' little soiree on Saturday night.  It was a relaunch for the legendary Oxfordshire rock haven, and among the jammers were Ollie Halsall, Kevin Coyne, Rob Tait and the incredible Gordon Smith, electric slide guitarist, who actually stood up to play (he usually sits down), and who should be signed to a band forthwith.  Andy summers was seen looking for a guitar to play in the jamming tent, while Karl Dallas beat a tambourine, which was probably why he got pushed into the pool.  There was quite a crew of celebrities joining in the festivities – Robert Wyatt in straw hat and clutching a flask of tea, Ivor Cutler, Henry Cow, Anthony "Wild Man" Moore, John Cale, Chris Spedding, Lady June, Mike Oldfield, and Roy Harper.  Ollie Halsall was enthusing about his new band Boxer, which features Mike Patto and Tony Newman.

8-25-75:  Ollie Halsall / Mike Patto band, Boxer, currently rehearsing at De Lane Lea studios.

Get out your Patto crossword pencils.  These silly but perhaps attention-getting "ads" were taken from late 1970 Melody Makers.

COCKER AND A CRY FROM THE HEART (excerpt from article in Disc, November 25, 1972 by Michele O'Driscoll)

...Joe had just returned from a world tour, which included the States and Australia.  He spoke about both countries:


"The American tour was great.  It wasn't as hectic as the Mad Dogs' tour, although there's always some pressure.  The audiences there were very good and it was the same in Australia.  I remember we did some very good shows down there, even when Bobby Keys and Jim Price left the band. They'd been complaining that they weren't getting enough bread - which was true - so they decided to leave, which was cool.

"Luckily, Patto were touring with us and Ollie Halsall, the guitarist, and John Halsey, the drummer, helped fill out the sound.  It worked well.  I really enjoyed working with them and our manager, Nigel Thomas, has now signed them up."...

TOOTH OUT (from Melody Maker, November 17, 1973)

MIKE HARRISON has quit Spooky Tooth and is to form a new band, Raw Glory, which will be signed to a new label at present being set up by Guy Stevens.

Rumours that Paul Rodgers and Mick Ralphs were to join Raw Glory were denied by Island Records.

Harrison has been replaced in Spooky Tooth by Mike Patto.  The group are currently touring in the States where their latest album "Witness" has just gone on sale.  It will be available in Britain on Friday.

FRONT ROW REVIEWS (from New Musical Express, September 7, 1974)

Here is a short excerpt from an article reviewing a Hyde Park concert in September, 1974, which featured Kokomo, Toots and the Maytals, Roy Harper, Jim McGuinn, and Julie Felix with Ollie Halsall:

Glinting and pristine in her white shirt and blue jeans, Julie Felix adequately performed her Hampstead liberalism despite valiant attempts by a slightly somnambulistic looking Ollie Halsall to elevate the set into something more concrete than a succession of pleasant songs.

She smiled more that anyone who was on stage that day and quite a lot of people seemed to enjoy her.

PATTO REFORM (from Disc, May 17, 1975)

PATTO are reforming for a series of dates this month.  Mike Patto (vocals), Ollie Halsall (guitar), John Halsey (drums) and Clive Griffiths (bass), will be doing three London benefit concerts.

They will be held on behalf of the widow and four children of their roadie Erk, who was shot dead in Pakistan last week.  Erk was Patto's roadie for four years.

The first concert will be this Thursday (May 15) at Dingwalls.

Note:  Erk was the nickname of Eric Swain.  He was the brother of Barnabus Swain, another roadie for the band.

     (from Nick Talevski's 1999 book, "The Encyclopedia of Rock Obituaries")

John Halsey Born c. 1947, Died 1979

The drummer for the early Seventies British jazz-rock group, Patto, John Halsey recorded three critically acclaimed albums with the group.  With Patto disbanding in 1973, Halsey later joined the Rutles, as Barry Wom (Ringo).  Conceived largely by Monty Python star Eric Idle and former Bonzo Dog Band member Neil Innes for Idle's BBC show, Rutland Weekend Television, the group was showcased in the album and film, All You Need Is Cash (1978), in which Halsey played a chubby, inept drummer.  Among those with cameo roles were George Harrison, Mick Jagger and Paul Simon.
CAUSE: Unknown.

Nitpicking:  Well, John isn't dead.  Is that nitpicking?  John was born February 23, 1945.  Of course, John is still alive and well and occasionally getting behind a drum kit.  Apparently Nick didn't pick up a copy of the Rutles' Archaeology album.

Patto was known as a musician's band because of their strong musicianship.  Members of Cheap Trick, Phil Collins, and Andy Partridge and Dave Gregory of XTC have all mentioned being Patto fans in interviews. I met Andy Partridge briefly in 1999, and when I mentioned Patto he happily noted that he "cut his teeth listening to Patto records," and that Ollie Halsall is the reason he plays guitar like he does.  Picture is of Andy's autograph on my copy of XTC's "Apple Venus" CD!  For Patto!

     (excerpt from interview in the July 2000 Guitar Player magazine)

Who would you say is your biggest guitar influence?

Ollie Halsell (sic).  His playing on the first two Patto albums really influenced me.  I'd never heard anyone play like that -- his style was so fluid.  He went places other guitarists fear to tread.  His whole approach wasn't from guitarland.  It owed more to McCoy Tyner or John Coltrane.  No self-respecting guitarist should die without hearing Ollie Halsell (sic).  Highly recommended.

In 2001, Timebox's "Gone Is The Sad Man" was included in Rhino's "Nuggets II - Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond" box set.  The booklet included this previously unseen photo of the band.



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