Barnham’s Robin Mayhew and his band mates admit they are “very excited old rockers.”
A lost recording of theirs, She Said Yeah, from 1965 has finally resurfaced – and has been included on a new compilation album.
To mark the release, Robin has reassembled his band The Presidents – including one member who was back in the UK on holiday from Australia – to mime together to the rediscovered track.
“There am I at the age of 77 singing along to my voice at the age of 24.”
A little bit of rock justice has been done after all these years for Robin and the band. If you search “She Said Yeah The Presidents” on YouTube, you can enjoy the results.
Robin is thrilled to have a happy ending to the tale – all these years after the band felt they were “rather shabbily” treated by Decca.
“My band The Presidents was signed to Decca Records in the mid-1960s and a recording we made of a song titled She said Yeah which was written by Roddy Jackson and the late Sonny Bono was passed to Decca as a follow-up to our version of Candy Man but somehow the acetate (the original cutting) was lost.
“The single was never released by Decca and we never knew why.
“And then this year I had an email from a record executive saying he was going through the (record producer) Shel Talmy archive and came across the old acetate.
“We had never heard a dicky bird from Decca back then and we just more or less gave up.
“But the record executive said that Roddy Jackson loved our version and gave it the thumbs up and that Ace Records in London are putting it out a compilation which has just come out.”
The record is Planet Beat – From The Shel Talmy Vaults by Various Artists
“As our lead guitarist Martin was over here from Australia for a holiday, I managed to get all the original members back together and make a video of the recording.
“We have a combined age of 380 years so a little older than The Rolling Stones who we once supported!
“The late Ian Stewart, the fifth Stone, was a good friend of ours and he loved this song and The Stones actually included their version on their Decca album Out of Our Heads.
“I always thought that was a bit odd. I mean our version was lost and they bring it out!”
The Presidents had suffered a similar fate with their recording of The Candy Man: “Decca gave the song to Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and we had to relegate it to a B-side.”
The fate of The Presidents’ version of She Said Yeah helped convince the band that the music gods really weren’t going to smile on them, and so they called it a day.
As Robin says, the late Brian Matthew who presented radio’s Sounds of the 60s show, said he felt The Presidents were rather shabbily treated: “I can’t point the finger at anyone, but twice we were a little bit dumped on by Decca.”
But Robin is delighted that the track is out now.
“It’s very exciting. It was lost. We had no idea where it was.
“All we had was a rough old recording done with a hand-held microphone from a record player, but now they have sent us the acetate.”
The Presidents were based in Sutton and Cheam and played all the south London clubs.
“We even let the Rolling Stones play once a fortnight in our own club!”