The Playboys featuring Guitar hero Joe Moretti

Joe Moretti
“I first met Vince in January 1959. I had just finished Xmas Pantomime with Vince Eager in Southport & had returned to London to play at the 2 I's. I was actually standing in the 2 I's having a coffee when the guys "Licorice" Locking, Lou Brian & Brian Bennett came in and told me that Tony Sheridan had just quit Vince's band and was I interested in joining the band.
We discussed money etc. and I agreed to join the band. But there was a problem. My wife and I had nowhere to stay. Now, Vince & the guys were sharing an apartment in Knightsbridge, a few miles outside central London, and Vince suggested we go back and stay with them till we got fixed up.”

Vince Taylor had also fallen out with Jack Goode, who wanted him to change his look...
He last appeared on episode #20, aired on January 10th 1959.

Joe Moretti
Jack Goode demanded that Vince cut his hair or he wouldn't appear on the show.Vince went fucking nuts !! " He can shove his show up his ass" he said. We were all very impressed. But eventually,compromise was reached and Vince agreed to to have about a millimeter of hair cut off, and I understand he did do the show. I didn't do the show, because Vince was still plugging "Right behind You Baby." We hadn't recorded " Cadillac" yet. So either Sheridan was with him or he used the house band.

In February 1959, after these TV appearances, Vince Taylor & The Playboys went on the road in North England along with Johnny Duncan & The Bluegrass Boys, Billy Fury and Jill Day.

About that time, Jack Good had hired Brian Bennet and Brian Locking to be Oh Boy’s resident trio, as a result, they had a foot in each camp: on TV with Tony Sheridan and on the road with Vince Taylor
They made 6 appearances from 28 February to 9 May 1959 (episodes #28-#38). During this spell they had become friends with Marty Wilde who would later booked them.

In April 1959, Vince Taylor released his second single for Parlophone-Odeon,“Pledgin' My Love” b/w “Brand New Cadillac”. The B-side “Brand New Cadillac” was probably his most well known song. It was an original composition, inspired by a lunch in the "Star Restaurant", on Old Compton St, and produced by Norrie Paramor, on which Joe Moretti played lead as he did a year later on Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ British classic "Shakin' All Over".
Unfortunately they couldn't get any airplay on the B.B.C because of the name "Cadillac".
Parlophone wasn’t satisfied with the immediate results and broke the recording contract (they wouldn’t do the same mistake with an unknown liverpuldian quartet 3 years later).

Joe Moretti
“Vince wrote "Cadillac" on a piece of paper on a table in the "Star Restaurant" at the end of Old Compton St. We had graduated from cheese & onions to unimaginable spaghetti and luncheon meat fritters. But there was plenty of it, and it was our one meal a day and Vince is singing " Yea, yea, Baby, Got a Brand New Cadillac," "Nope. that don't work !! "Yeh, the Caddy's Rollin', Rollin' & I'm never comin' back." "Nope. That don't work !" But I think it was only the next day when he turned up with the finished lyrics. Vince wrote "Cadillac" and we recorded it at E.M.I. Abbey Rd. St. John's Wood, London. Norrie Paramor was the Producer. We didn't have much rehearsal and we did it in a couple of takes. Same with "Pledging My Love." Once we had the structure of a song we just blew the hell out of it. But - We had no hype. We couldn't get any airplay because of the names "Cadillac" & "Ford." advertising on the B.B.C was not allowed and they were the main source of airplay.”

On “Brand New Cadillac”, just before the guitar solo, we can hear Vince Taylor calling someone "Scotty":

Joe Moretti
“Vince immediately started calling me "Joey'. It's always used in the U.S for "Joe".Then later he called me "Scotty"… to have an affinity with Scotty Moore, Elvis's guitarist, the name stuck while I was at the 2 I's.”

a few later, Vince Taylor, Pina and Joe Moretti moved into a house in Turnham Green, Near Chiswick, London.

Joe Moretti
“We still didn't have many gigs because " Cadillac " hadn't made it. Zilch airplay. It was big on the Juke Boxes but that was it .Very little publicity,and no sales.
Joe, Vince's manager, had to support himself, Vince, and four band members every week until around June - July when the band split up, a period of 6-7 months. Don't forget that the band was being paid a retainer every week, and although the money wasn't exorbitant, it was a considerable amount…”
“In approximately 6 months we had cut only 2 tracks, done a week's tour and 1 television show.”

In mid May 1959, with help from his brother in law, Joe Barbera, Vince Taylor opened up a club in London called “The Top Ten” in Berwick Street, Soho, where the band performed then Rick Hardy aka “Rick Richards”, former leader of The Worried Men, became the resident singer.

Vince Taylor & The Playboys had a very few gigs and just appeared on BBC Saturday Club (episode #33, aired on May 16th 1959) alongside The Five Dallas Boys; The Ken Jones Five; June Marlow, Matt Monro & The Bill McGuffie Trio…

Soon after, Joe Barbera, who gave Vince Taylor 9 months to clean up, finally returned to California as it became obvious that his protégé was not going to obtain overnight success. And Vince Taylor & The Playboys parted company. No sooner had the tour finished than Barbera sacked Brian Locking and Brian Bennett, who had defected to Marty Wilde’s Wildcats – replacing Tex Makins and Bobby Woodman, left to become Billy Fury’s backing group, the Beat Boys. Joe Moretti went on to replace Denny Wright as guitarist with Johnny Duncan's blue grass Boys and Lou Brian reinvented himself as “Perry Ford” then who would later become successful with the Vocal trio The Ivy League, after a stint in the Echoes, and as songwriter (for Adam Faith).

Joe Moretti
“The split up had to come. The guys were looking for ways to get ahead in the business, and there was a lot of head hunting going on. I was offered the gig with Johnny Duncan's blue grass Boys, a good country band, and the money was good so I told Vince I was quitting. Unfortunately, the bass player, "Licorice" Locking, and the drummer, Brian Bennett quit at the same time, they joined Marty Wilde.”

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