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Ex Band of Joy roadie interview


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This radio interview reveals H. Barber to be quite a storyteller; his book must have all sorts of strange tales from the road, facts and photos from Plant's pre-Led Zeppelin era. I found his comments that the Band of Joy played their last couple of gigs in August 1968 without Plant interesting as most accounts show Plant disbanded them in May 1968. It's hoped a more accurate summation of the period can be achieved by deconflicting the book's content with blocoboy's posts here. I have ordered my copy of H. Barber's book.


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Author Harry Barber Discusses New Book 'The Band of Joy'

Interview with Steve A. Jones on October 23, 2010

Q: Where did the idea for you to write this book originate?

A: The idea for the book originated from reading so many misconceptions about who and what the Band of Joy was. I was in a very good position to put history right as I was there for most of it.

Q: How many Band of Joy members collaborated with you on this book?

A: I regulary meet up with five ex members and Vernon's widow. In fact we had a reunion last Tuesday 19th October.

Q: Over forty years have passed since the final Band of Joy lineup disbanded; when is the last time you spoke with Robert Plant?

A: I last spoke to Robert in 1978. I did try to meet him at a gig when he was with Priory of Brion but was unable to get past the crew!

Q: What sort of promotional duties have you accomplished so far?

A: A radio interview and local West Midlands newpapers, so far.

Q: What have you enjoyed the most about this project?

A: The most enjoyable part has been meeting up with old friends from that period. Visiting the old venues. I'm still interested in hearing from anyone with more information.

'The Band of Joy' by Harry Barber is available now (20.99 GBP / approximately $33.88 USD including shipping):


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Hey guys, Harry's daughter here -- don't be afraid!

Just thought I'd let you know, there are more copies available to buy on eBay, the link is: Here

I'll keep you posted if anything else of interest for you pops up!

P.S If you have any questions etc, don't hesitate to ask!

Hope you enjoy ^_^

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  • 2 weeks later...

Band of Joy's beginnings remembered

Express & Star

Friday 5th November 2010


Robert Plant, bassist Paul Lockey, drums Pete Robinson, lead guitar Micky Cox, and keyboards Chris Brown

Panel beater Harry Barber today recalled his days ferrying Robert Plant, John Bonham and the Band of Joy to concerts across the country.

Harry, born and bred in West Bromwich, hung up his overalls to join up with the famous flower power group in 1966.

Now the father-of-three has put pen to paper remembering his time spent with the band, in particular the battle of personalities on the tour bus.

Plant is now peforming again with a new version of the Band of Joy, appearing last week at the BBC Electric Proms.

But Harry, who was born on the Tantany Estate, remembers the singer and his contemporaries from their youth in West Bromwich. He said: "We hung out in the same places: The Adelphi ballroom, the Three Horseshoes pub in High Street, and Casa Bambu, the coffee bar opposite the old Kings cinema.

"I was working as a panel beater and their van was damaged. I took them around in my old van.

"I was taking them around the Regan circuit in Birmingham, which included the Old Hill Plaza, Rookery Road Plaza and Handsworth Ritz at first but we went all over in the end."

Harry's book, called The Band of Joy, chronicles his experience with the band, which would last until August 1968.

While lead guitarist Vernon Pereira formed the first Band of Joy, the group's line-up changed several times and his book details how different personalities mixed.

Harry, who now lives in North Wales with wife Roz, said: "I remember we did a tour in Scotland in August 1967 and Robert Plant did not go because he had been sidelined from the group. He had a disagreement with the other members so they went without him."

The band had been playing a gig in the Ship and Rainbow pub in Wolverhampton when the members broke the news. Harry said: "Plant came back on the stage and he said 'all the flowers will wither and die and go away but the plant will be back'."

Plant would later rejoin the band in October 1967, and he would soon meet Bonham, later the Led Zeppelin drummer. Mr Barber remembered the love-hate relationship between the pair.

"We were on our way to RAF Steeford, in Lincoln, and they had been going on at each other the whole way so I stopped the van and kicked them out," he said.

"I told them to sort it out before they got back in. They were always arguing." Though its members would later go on to greater fame, Mr Barber said the Band of Joy blazed a trail for modern music. "It was one of the first bands to have two guitarists, keyboards and one frontman more like the modern four-piece," Harry said. "They were years ahead of their time."


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I got a copy of Harry's book last week. It's very nice. There are several interesting stories and quite a bit of "new" information (new to me, at least).

I was especially interested in Harry's revelation about the REAL reason why Robert parted ways with the original Band Of Joy.

It wasn't because Robert said the drummer was slowing down and it wasn't because the manager said he couldn't sing. Not directly, at least.

I don't want to spoil it in case Harry doesn't want me to reveal the details, but the reason shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's familiar with Robert's personality!!!

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