The Honeycombs
The Honeycombs
Mostly renowned for their 1964 Top Five hit "Have I the Right," the Honeycombs in their hit-making years were pretty much a vehicle for producer Joe Meek and the songwriting-management team of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley. The group was originally formed in Hackney during November of 1963 by guitarist Martin Murray. His day job was managing a hair salon, and when he formed the band, he brought along his assistant, Anne Margot Lantree, who was nicknamed "Honey" and used that on-stage -- she played drums, a true rarity among female musicians in those days, and, with her good looks, was a double attention-getter. Her brother John Lantree joined on bass, and Alan Ward played lead guitar. And for a lead vocalist, they had Dennis D'Ell (born Denis Dalziel). Their original name was the Sheratons (some sources list it as the Sherabons) -- something Murray remembered seeing on the side of a van -- and they got a three-times weekly gig at a pub called the Mild May Tavern, on Balls Pond Road in London's East End. Visually, the group was highlighted by Lantree's presence at the drums, her good looks topped by a then-fashionable beehive hairdo. Rhythm guitarist and leader Murray also added to the appealing eccentricity of the band's look with his bespectacled presence -- to see him on the cover of their albums, one would think he was the group's accountant, but what made the picture even better was that he was a great player in his own right. At that time, their music consisted entirely of R&B and rock & roll standards interspersed with instrumentals.
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