The first band was formed in 1964 and called themselves 'The Ravons', then later 'The Midnite Blues'. Founder members were Mike Eastman (Guitar), and Paul Bonner (Drums ), who met at Elmwood School in Hackbridge, near Wallington, Surrey, England. They were shortly after joined by Martin Godbold ( Lead Guitar ), another pupil at Elmwood School, who enlisted the help of his older brother Robert to join, playing Bass Guitar.
Paul won our first decent P.A. System in October 1965 , in a Beat Instrumental Magazine Competition.
Whilst playing at the 100 Club in Oxford Street , London, in 1966, they met Hawaiian Tokenam Aw, who became their manager, the name was changed to Katch 22, and duly registered with a 'K', then on the 3rd October that year released their first single record on the Philips Fontana Label ( TF698 ), 'Major Catastrophe' with a B side called ' Hold Me'. The record was recorded at Olympic Sound Studios, Carlton Street, London W1.
Throughout 1966 -1967 they became a regular support act to such bands as ' The Small Faces', ' The Hollies', 'The Kinks', ' The Alan Price Set', ' The Rocking Berries', ' Kenny Balls Jazzmen' to name but a few, and in December 1966 were featured as themselves in a Colgate Toothpaste advert made for television.
The 1st July 1967 saw the first booking with new Bass player Paul Clifton, replacing Robert ( Bob ) Godbold who left the group scene to get married. On October 20th 1967 their second single ' Making My Mind Up' / ' While Were Friends', was released on the Fontana label ( TF874 ).
Their first ever professional booking abroad was on the Psychedelic ' La Fenetre Rose' package show at the Palais de Sport in Paris, with ' Cat Stevens and Zeus', ' Keith West and Tomorrow', ' Spencer Davis Group', ' Zoot Money and Dantalions Chariot', ' The Soft Machine', and various dancers and acts from the time.
On 12th December 1967 they made their first of many Radio One sessions for the ' David Symonds Show', recorded at the BBC 4 Studio, Maida Vale, London.
Their 3rd single ' The Worlds Getting Smaller' / ' Dont Bother', was released on Fontana label ( TF930 ) on 27th April, and then on 10th May 1968, after an earlier week of sessions at Regent Sound Studios, their first LP called ' Its Soft Rock and Allsorts, Its KATCH 22', came out on the Saga label ( EROS8047 ), quickly becoming Radio One Album of the Week !
The 10th May also saw their first BBC Radio One Live session, playing on the 'Joe Loss Pop Show' at the Playhouse Theatre, Northumberland Avenue, London W1,
Friday 17th May at the BBC Studio B, White City, Wood Lane, Shepherds Bush, London, they recorded their first ever television appearance for BBC 2 TV. ' Late Night Line Up / Colour Me Pop '. The programme was transmitted on Saturday May 18th and was a prequel and 'test run' for the show that followed soon after, "Colour Me Pop ".
Wednesday 12th June 1968, Twickenham Film Studios, recording the disco scene for the Avco Embassy Film, ' BABY LOVE', starring Ann Lynn, Keith Barron, Linda Hayden, Derek Lamden, Diana Dors, Dick Emery, produced by Michael Klinger and Guido Coen, and directed by Alastair Reid. Two songs were penned especially for the film called ' Baby Love' and ' Out of My Life', and were later released on a single to coincide with the premiere of the film.
In August and September they recorded some more sessions for Radio One including, ' The David Symonds Show', 'The Jimmy Young Show', as well as fulfilling an extensive datesheet on the University Entertainment Circuit, plus Club and Theatre Venues all round the UK. During this period they were either supporting acts such as ' The Troggs', ' The Kinks', ' Geno Washington and the Ramjam Band', or playing as main artists in their own right. They were often used as session singers for other artistes, most notably at Fontana Recording Studios in London, and sang the backing vocals for Wayne Fontana on his record ' Never An Everyday Thing / Waiting For a Break in the Clouds'. Fontana (TF976)
On 30th November 1968 their 4th single ' Pumpkin Mini / 100,000 Years' was released Fontana (TF984).
6th January 1969 they were to be heard live on BBC Radio One's 'Dave Cash Live' programme with guests including Ronnie Corbett, and Bill Tidy the Daily Telegraph journalist / cartoonist.
30th January to 5th February 1969, Residency at the famous "STAR CLUB" 39 Grosse Freiheit, Hamburg, Germany, following in the footsteps of the Beatles among others. The playing times were up to 4 X 45 minutes spots each night, and the group stayed in a Hotel on Hamburg's famous Reeperbahn.
Monday February 10th 1969. On their return from Germany, a session for BBC Radio One's 'Jimmy Young Show' was recorded at Maida Vale Studio 4, in London W9. The tracks were ' The World's Getting Smaller', 'Making My Mind Up', 'Fakin It', Reason To Believe', and the Lovin'Spoonfull's ' You Didn't Have To Be So Nice'.
Monday March 3rd 1969. Back to Maida Vale Studios again, this time studio 5 to record tracks for the 'Stewart Henry Show'. Cover versions of the Door's 'We Could Be So Good Together', The Byrds 'My Back Pages' and 'Mr Spaceman', and also Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now', were recorded.
4th March 1969, Premiere of the film 'BABY LOVE' at the Odeon Theatre, Haymarket, London SW1. The Fontana single record of the two songs from the film was released to coincide with the event coming out as ' Baby Love / Out of My Life' ( TF1005 ).
28th March 1969 brought the last booking with Paul Clifton playing Bass Guitar, he left the band to join 'Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers' later 'Toe Fat', and shortly after, 11th April 1969, Martin Godbold left to form a Progressive Rock Band calling themselves NIMBUS, so ending the first chapter.
CHAPTER 2 .
The need to fill the places vacated by Paul and Martin, led to the placing of an advertisement in the Melody Maker Magazine for a new Lead Guitarist. The Bass Guitarist job had been filled by John Curtis ex Portsmouth / Gosport based band 'Cherry Smash', also in the John Edward Entertainment Agency stable. Cherry Smash had just disbanded and John was able to 'stand in' straight away. The new Lead Guitarist was chosen from a string of auditionees, and Keith Wilford, ex Newcastle Band 'Sefton Wall', replaced Martin Godbold.
Keith bought a new 'heavier' guitar style to the band, and with John's Blues / Rock influences, Katch 22 took on a new sound and style in early 1969. They were soon to be heard on Radio One again and recorded their first session with the new line-up on Thursday April 24th 1969 at the BBC Studios, Delaware Road, London W9.
They continued to tour extensively, and went on to the R.A.F. and Naval Camp circuit, along with the Universities as previously. The Civic Hall Dunstable, Pier Ballroom Aberystwyth, Top Rank Suites, along with the intimate Rasputins, and Scotch of St. James clubs in London all featured on their datesheet.
20th May 1969. BBC Paris Studio., London W1. 'Radio One Club' live session with the very tight close harmony 'Chatanooga Choo Choo', the Byrds 'Mr Spaceman', plus a self penned song called 'Louisiana Man' being performed.
24th June 1969 BBC Aeolian 2 Studio, a session consisting of a cover version of 'Proud Mary', ' My Back Pages' (Bob Dylan / Byrds), and 'Indian Lake (The Cowsills).
8th September 1969. BBC 'Radio One Club' live recording from the Top Rank Suite, Kingsway, Swansea, Glamorgan. On this session cover versions of Steppenwolf's ' Magic Carpet Ride', Poco's 'Pickin Up the Pieces', and Simon and Garfunkels 'Hazy Shade of Winter' were all to be heard.
16th September 1969. BBC Aeolian Hall Studio. A session for the 'Terry Wogan Show', with such delights as ' The Weight' featuring Mick on Piano,( a song from Bob Dylans backing band called 'The Band !) and Crosby Stills and Nash's ' Marrakesh Express' were covered.
9th October 1969. Dundee University, followed by RAF West Raynham, New Penny Disco Watford, Tricorn Club Portsmouth, Metro Club Colchester Essex, all in a hectic tour schedule in one week !
Two more BBC Sessions followed in quick succession, 28th October, ' Radio One Club' from the Paris Studio, and then the 'Stuart Henry Show' from the Maida Vale Studio, London W9, on November 4th. These radio sessions were to be the last with John Curtis playing Bass Guitar, as he had been approached by Gary Moore to play in his band.
Between the 7th and 21st November 1969. (Approximately), A new single record entitled ' Mrs Jones / It's The Sunshine' was released, ( CBS 4644. ) The 'B' side, " It's The Sunshine ", was written by Mike Eastman, and Paul Bonner. The session was recorded some time earlier at the CBS Studios in Theobald's Roads, London WC1, and produced by Rex Morris.
Friday December 19th 1969. John Curtis played his final booking with Katch 22, at the Fox and Goose, Kingswinford, West Midlands, and the last few weeks were to be arguably some of the finest live gigs from the band ever ! The gigs at the Birmid Industries Club Birmingham jamming with Reggae Band 'The Pyramids', ' Kensington Town Hall ', the 'Hermitage Ballroom ' Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and the 'Birdcage Ballroom' Harlow, Essex, still remembered today !
Saturday December 20th 1969. First booking with Bryan Jackson on Bass Guitar, at the Memorial Hall, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire.
23rd January 1970. CBS4756 'Born Under A Bad Sign / Missouri Train' released under the name "Westland Steamboat". The A and B sides were written by the songwriting team of Paul Bonner and Mike Eastman, and produced by Stephen Shane.
Early days...... Rosetti Airstream Lead Guitar, Rosetti Lucky 7 Rhythm Guitar.
I learned to play guitar with the help of my Bert Weedon ' Play In A Day ' tutor. Bert was known as 'the man who taught the world to play guitar', and is acknowledged to have been the inspiration for, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Pete Townshend, Sting, John Miles, and many more.
Binson Echorec. A very expensive piece of equipment in 1967, a 'state of the art' echo chamber, used with the public address system to enhance our vocal sound, and enable us to perform our 4 piece close harmony vocals.
When we turned Pro' in 1967 we had a set of Vox AC30 amps for the guitars and a Vox AC50 for the Bass. We had also updated our guitars as well now that we were getting better gigs.
Our second P.A. system was a Simms Watts PA100 amplifier, powering 2 X H100 Loudspeaker cabinets.
The system was purchased from Dave Simms, Musical Bargain Centre, in Ealing, West London, after being demonstrated expertly by ' Uncle Ernie' ! The date was around the time of Keith Wilford and John Curtis joining the band, mid 1969, and was used extensively until we got our deal with Triumph, who then supplied a complete set of equipment.
Epiphone SG Lead Guitar. Gibson ES335.
Gibson ES330 Rhythm Guitar.
A Rickenbacker 12 string electric, as used by Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, and George Harrison, and seen being used live by me in the above photograph.
Our Triumph 100 watt, transistorised amplifiers purchased in 1968 were later upgraded to Johnson (Triumph) 100 watt, valve amplifiers, in 1970.
After the LP, and more single's released and the band was getting lots of Radio One sessions and TV exposure, we were able to secure a 'deal' with Geoff Johnson of 'Triumph Electronics, of Brighton Road, Purley, Surrey, to supply our complete set of Amplifiers . Three 100 watt amps with 2 @ 4 X 12 Speakers each for the lead and rhythm guitars and 2 @ 3 x 15" set for the bass guitar back line, and a 200 watt PA system with 4 @ 4 X 12 speaker cabs.
After a few requests to upload lyrics to some of our
songs, here is the first set.
It is to celebrate "Major Catastrophe's" 50th Birthday.
There are too many songs to upload every one, but
I will try to add the most requested and popular ones.
" Pumpkin Mini " First released 30th November
1968. Fontana Records TF984. Written by
Tokenam Aw , produced and arranged by
" The World's Getting Smaller " 3rd single
Produced and arranged by Rex Morris.