Updated Sep. 7, 2023

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January 1963

New records: "Please Please Me" - The Beatles; "One Broken Heart for Sale" - Elvis Presley; (Moving) - Peter, Paul & Mary; Songs I Sing on The Jackie Gleason Show - Frank Fontaine
The Fox and Goose today

Business begins to pick up for The Detours. On the 4th, they play the Grand Ballroom in Kent (returning on the 18th and 22nd), the Fox & Goose Hotel in Ealing on the 11th and a "New Year's Rave" on the 19th at the CAV Sports Ground, Northolt, West London.

Sometime late in the month Roger kicks lead singer Colin Dawson out of the Detours. His replacement is Gabriel "Gabby" Connolly, a singer specializing in country-and-western!

February 1963

New records: The Barbra Streisand Album - Barbra Streisand; How The West Was Won - Alfred Newman; "In Dreams" - Roy Orbison; "Our Day Will Come" - Ruby & the Romantics
Archival photo of Oldfield Hotel

On the 17th, The Detours start regular Sunday bookings, afternoons at the Douglas House in Bayswater. The other dates for the month are The White Hart Hotel (17th [evening],18th, 24th [evening] and 25th), The Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (21st, 23rd, 28th), the Grand Ballroom in Broadstairs (22nd), and the Douglas House on the afternoon of the 24th.

March 1963

New records: Please Please Me - The Beatles; Surfin' U.S.A. - The Beach Boys; "Surfin' U.S.A." - The Beach Boys; "How Do You Do It?" - Gerry & The Pacemakers
Poster for The Detours at the White Hart Hotel 1963

The Detours, with either Roger or "Gabby" Connolly on lead vocals, enjoy several steady bookings. You can catch them afternoons at the Douglas House in Bayswater on the 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st, evenings at the White Hart Hotel in Acton on the 3rd, 4th, 11th, 18th and the 25th, the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford on the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th, the Osterley Hotel in Isleworth, Middlesex on the 9th, the Mazenod Church Hall in Kilburn on the 13th, the Grand Ballroom in Broadstairs on the 22nd and two shows at the College of Distributive Trade in the Charing Cross Road on the 29th.

Pete notes in his autobiography that his college friends Nick Bartlett and Richard Barnes first see him perform with The Detours during the show of the 29th. "They seemed impressed."

April 1963

New records: "Ring of Fire" - Johnny Cash; Days of Wine & Roses - Andy Williams; "From Me To You" - The Beatles; "Sukiyaki" - Kyu Sakamoto

The Detours can be found in their usual haunts: Mondays at the White Hart Hotel in Acton (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th), Thursdays and the occasional Saturday at the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (4th, 11th, 13th, 18th, 25th, 27th, 30th) and Sundays at the Douglas House in Bayswater (7th, 14th, 21st, 28th). On the 6th you can catch them at the CAV Sports Ground in Northolt and on the 19th at the Grand Ballroom in Broadstairs.

Beachcombers ad

On the 25th, the Beachcombers place an ad for a "good, reliable rock drummer" in the Harrow Observer. Despite the apparent disqualification for the "reliable" part, Keith applies and succeeds in landing the job.

May 1963

New music releases: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan; Themes for Young Lovers - Percy Faith and His Orchestra; Yakety Sax! - Boots Randolph; "I Like It" - Gerry & The Pacemakers
Detours ad 17 May 1963

On the 17th, two days before Pete's 18th birthday, his art college and music worlds collide for the first time at the Park Hotel's Carnival Ballroom in Hanwell. "...All my college chums turned out. Some pretty girls from the fashion school stood at the front of the stage, pretending to scream at me like Beatles fans; they were teasing, but everyone was impressed, especially when we played the slightly funkier R&B tunes I'd managed to sneak into our otherwise catholic repertoire."

Other nights for fans to scream at Pete and The Detours are the Douglas House in Bayswater (5th, 12th, 19th and 26th), the White Hart Hotel in Acton (5th, 9th and 26th), The Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (11th, 18th, 23rd and 28th) and the Grand Ballroom in Broadstairs on the 24th. The two performances on the 26th mark the end of "Gabby" Connolly's time with The Detours. From this point on Roger takes over lead vocals.

Keith Moon and the Beachcombers

Also during this month, The Beachcombers take band pictures with their new drummer Keith Moon.

June 1963

New music releases: The Patsy Cline Story - Patsy Cline; "(You're The) Devil In Disguise" - Elvis Presley; "Blowin' in the Wind" - Peter, Paul & Mary; "I'll Never Get Over You" - Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Detours ad 1 June 1963

The Detours play Saturdays at the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford, West London (1st, 8th, 15th, 29th) adding Thursdays on the 20th (27th) after switching their dates at the White Hart Hotel in Acton from Thursdays (6th, 13th) to Sundays (9th, 23rd, 30th).

Goldhawk Social Club
Photo: Ral Le Huep

The 7th marks a watershed for The Detours as they play what is probably their first date at the Mods' main hangout, the Goldhawk Social Club, in Shepherd's Bush. They also make the scene at the GEC Pavilion in the Preston Road, Wembley on the 14th and Club Druane in Notre Dame Church Hall, Leicester Place on the 28th.

John Entwistle in wedding book
John Entwistle's message in wedding book

In what must rank as one of the most unusual performances of their careers, Pete, John, Roger and Doug Sandom receive £15 to play a private wedding reception at the Millet Arms in Perivale on the 22nd.

July 1963

New music releases: Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash - Johnny Cash; Trini Lopez at PJ's - Trini Lopez; "Sweets for My Sweet" - The Searchers; "My Boyfriend's Back" - The Angels
Detours poster at Notre Dame

The Detours play Thursdays and Saturdays at the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (4th, 6th, 11th, 18th, 20th, 23rd, 25th), and Sundays at the White Hart Hotel in Acton (7th, 14th, 21st). They also play a couple of Fridays at the Goldhawk Social Club in Shepherd's Bush (5th, 12th). The 26th sees them at the Notre Dame de Dance at Notre Dame Church Hall off Leicester Square in London for which they are paid £16. After this the band takes two weeks off.

Detours tape box

Around this time The Detours have their only recording session in the basement of the home of Barry Gray, the musical director of the children's TV programme Thunderbirds. The Detours are go with two Pete songs, "It Was You" and "Please Don't Send Me Home" plus Chuck Berry's "Come On," then in release by The Rolling Stones. The tape resurfaces in the early 2000's, but has yet to be released.

August 1963

New music releases: "Be My Baby" - The Ronettes; Elvis' Golden Records, Vol. 3 - Elvis Presley; The Second Barbra Streisand Album - Barbra Streisand; Ramblin' - The New Christy Minstrels
Martha and The Vandellas - Heatwave 45

On the 3rd, Martha & the Vandellas' "Heatwave" hits the U.S. charts where it peaks at #4. It will become The Who's show opener 1965-1966.

On the 9th, the weekend starts here as ITV kicks off a show featuring the best in the new British pop sound. It airs early evening on Fridays and is called Ready Steady GO! During its three and a half year run, RSG! becomes a Mecca for the bands of the British Invasion, particularly The Who.

The Detours continue their residencies; Saturdays at the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (10th and 17th), switching to Tuesdays and Thursdays (20th, 22nd, 27th, 29th), Sundays at the White Hart Hotel in Acton (11th, 18th and 25th with one Thursday on the 15th) and special one-offs at the Goldhawk Social Club in Shepherd's Bush (16th) and the Club Druane in the Notre Dame Church Hall in Leicester Place, London (30th).

September 1963

New music releases: "Sugar Shack" - Jim Gilmer & The Fireballs; "Walking The Dog" - Rufus Thomas; The Singing Nun - Sœur Sourire; Surfer Girl - The Beach Boys

The Detours continue Sundays at the White Hart Hotel in Acton (1st, 8th, 22nd, 29th), the occasional Thursday and Saturday at the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (5th, 7th, 26th, 28th), plus special shows at the Goldhawk Social Club in Shepherd's Bush (6th), the Glenlyn Ballroom in Forest Hill (13th) and Club Druane in the Notre Dame Church Hall in London (27th).

Melody Maker 7 Sep 1963

On the 7th, Melody Maker runs an ad for Marshall Amps listing the Detours as clients. Marshall will go on to create the stackable cabinet setup at Pete's request that will become the standard for the rock era.

October 1963

New music releases: "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" - Andy Williams; "You'll Never Walk Alone" - Gerry & The Pacemakers; Little Deuce Coupe - The Beach Boys; The Andy Williams Christmas Album - Andy Williams
1963 ad for St. Mary's Hall

The Detours continue to build a following appearing Thursdays (3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st) and every other Saturday (12th, 26th) at the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford. They also make a couple of Fridays at the Glenlyn Ballroom in Forest Hill (4th, 11th), a couple of Sundays at St. Mary's Ballroom in Putney (6th and 27th), and another Friday dance for the Mods at the Goldhawk Social Club in Shepherd's Bush (25th).

November 1963

New music releases: "Sleigh Ride" - The Ronettes; "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" - Darlene Love; "I Want to Hold Your Hand" - The Beatles; "Winter Wonderland" - Darlene Love
7 Nov 1963 ad

This month The Detours are at the Glenlyn Ballroom in Forest Hill (1st), the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (7th, 9th, 14th, 21st, 28th), the Goldhawk Social Club in Shepherd's Bush (8th, 22nd, 29th), the Feathers Hotel in Ealing Broadway (15th), the White Hart Hotel in Acton (24th) and the Town Hall in Acton (26th).

According to Pete's liner notes for Mose Allison's Greatest Hits, this was the month that he first heard Allison's music at Tom Wright's flat on Sunnyside Road. Wright, who came to the U.K. from Alabama, would introduce Pete to R&B, leaving him his gigantic collection of records after he is deported over a pot bust.

Detours article

On the 21st, the Acton Gazette and Post prints an article called "The Detours are finding a way to fame." According to Detours fan club president Angela Dives, over thirty people have joined the Detours fan club and the number is growing fast. Angela will dissolve the fan club when The Detours become The Who and will marry ex-Detour Colin Dawson in 1965.

Cry Baby LP

On the 23rd Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters' LP Cry Baby and 11 Other Hits enters the U.S. charts. One of the hits is "Anytime You Want Me" (or "Anytime You Need Me") covered by The Who two years later. Also hitting the charts on this date is The Miracles' "I Gotta Dance to Keep from Crying" that becomes a live staple of the early Who.

30 Nov 1963 poster

On the 30th is The Detours' first performance at the Railway Hotel in Greenford, in a club that is a Mod hangout run by Pete's friend and fellow art school student Richard Barnes.

December 1963

New music releases: "Little Saint Nick" - The Beach Boys; Volume 2 - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass; "Hippy Hippy Shake" - The Swingin' Blue Jeans"; "Dead Man's Curve" - Jan and Dean
The Detours perform 1963

The Detours perform at St. Mary's Ballroom in Putney (1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd), the Oldfield Hotel in Greenford (5th, 12th, 14th, 19th), the Glenyln Ballroom in Forest Hill (6th, 20th), the California Ballroom in Dunstable opening for Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders (7th), the Evershed and Bignoles Apprentice Association Social Club Dance at the Feathers Hotel on Ealing Broadway, London (13th), and the White Hart Hotel in Acton (29th).

Tom Wright selfie
Photo: Tom Wright

Pete's American friend, Tom Wright, is busted for cannabis and deported. Before he goes, he gives his mammoth record collection of American R&B to his schoolmates Pete and Richard Barnes.

On the 17th, Pop Weekly reports news that will soon force our Detours to a name change: "Southern group, Johnny Devlin and The Detours, have signed a recording contract with Pye and have had their first recording session."

On the 19th, Pete fills out an official audition form for The Detours to appear on the BBC Light Programme. Entwistle is listed as "Bass - J. Johns." Nothing comes of the request.

St. Mary's Hall ad

The St. Mary's Hall, Putney show on the 22nd is a watershed for Pete as The Detours open for the Rolling Stones. Pete gets to meet the Stones through an introduction brokered by his friend Glyn Johns, then the lead singer for the group The Presidents. Brian Jones and Mick Jagger are quite friendly to a star-struck Pete. Standing backstage, he sees Keith Richards swinging his arm in a circle as a warm-up before the curtain is raised on the Stones' performance. Within the next week, Pete takes that motion and makes it part of his stage act; spinning his arm furiously while crashing his fingers against the strings of the guitar, a move called "the windmill" that becomes his trademark.

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