Crown Records CD
3.Drawn to the Sea
6.Land of the Blackhearts
8.Bubble and Squeak
10.Red Light Zone
Keyboards: Pete Miller.
Fender Basses: Bill Bonney
Drums: Winthro B. Farte
engineered and produced by Pete Miller at his Ocean Beach studio in San Francisco.
Producers: Lenin and McCarthy.
This album is dedicated to Mick Eyre.
"Lance Records Magazine" by Beverly
Bonney & Buzz "Rock-Ola" (Double Crown Records) Anyone with even
a vague awareness of rock and roll music already knows that England
in the early sixties was where the action was. Which brings us to
The Fentones and The Jaywalkers¯two bands that were quite popular
on the circuit back in the day. Bill Bonney played bass for The
Fentones, while Pete Miller played guitar for The Jaywalkers.
Now fast forward to the present and we find Bill and Pete have joined
forces as Bonney and Buzz, and in the process produced a first rate
instrumental album. Propelled by clusters of ringing melodies and
sheets of fluid guitar exercises, "Rock-Ola" tends to favor a strong
Shadows influence. And that makes total sense, considering these
fellows were boyhood idols of Bonney and Buzz. Carved of breezy
rhythms and washes of wavy notes, "Drawn to the Sea" is charged
with a seductive scent, "The Sunburst Kid" reels with infectious
arrangements, "Cruiser Six" is equally catchy in all the right places,
and "Bubble and Squeak" bubbles and squeaks with some of the coolest
moves and grooves imaginable.
But each track on "Rock-Ola" is instantly memorable and stands out
in its own special way. The tones are stirring and the moods are
visual. Let's hope Bonney and Buzz continue working together in
years to come. Their chemistry is flawless and their enthusiasm
"Mix Magazine" by Blair
I confess to ignorance of the illustrious pasts of Bill Bonney
and Pete ‚Buzz“ Miller, who were part of two successful early ‘60’s
British bands, The Fentones and The Jaywalkers. No Matter, this
disc of deliciously retro rock instrumentals instantly brings me
up to date (or back to the past). It’s all here: the lonely twangy
guitar leads (Miller), insistent bass lines that alternately throb
and sing (Bonney), bright melodies, solid hooks and a few slow dance
numbers. There are plenty of cool guitar textures, thanks to copious
overdubbing, but it all still feels like a band at work. There are
echoes of artists such as The Ventures, Duane Eddy and other early
sixties purveyors of instrumentals, but it’s not just nostalgia.
The recording is crisp, clean and modern sounding, even with the
occasional ladled-on reverb and some glorious tape hiss. A rollicking
good time! Producer/engineer: Pete Miller. Studio: Ocean Beach (S.F).
Gandy Dancer" by Davy Peckett
(Double Crown DCCD20)
Featuring Peter "Buzz" Miller (Jaywalkers), Shig &
Buzz) and Bill Bonney (Fentones), this is virtually the follow-up
to the Shig & Buzz which never happened! The boyss went their
own ways and Pete here lines up with popular Fentones' bassman Bill
on an album's worth of tasty early sixties style guitar instrumentals
fill of melody and clean, clear arrangements and playing. This will
quite definitely be Double Crown's biggest seller we imagine and
we're hoping for lots of sales this side of the Atlantic! All the
cuts are worth and memorable but we liked the tricky Western thrust
of the opening "Sunburst Kid" and the Ventures push of
"Thunderbird Road". Great Rhythm and reggae feel to "Drawn
to the Sea" - so infectious. The gentle but appealing "Electroglide"
is also fun on an album where any listener will find something of
interest. (February 2006)
by Alan Taylor
(Double Crown DCCD20; 38 min.)
Yup. Bonney & Buzz, that is indeed a combination of Bill Bonney
from the Fentones and Pete "Buzz" Miller of the Jaywalkers.
This joint project took them back to 1962 when they met and became
friends whilst sharing many a bill on the package tours of the day.
Fortunately for us a reunion over the internet led to Bill joining
Pete in his California studio to recreate the music of those earlier
times. It's all guitars, bass and drums on a set of original material
which captures the sound and feel of the early sixties.
"The Sunburst Kid" has that classic galloping cowboy
rhythm behind cleanly echoed twin lead guitars on a proud theme.
"Thunderbird Road" keeps the tempo upbeat as it drives
along with meaty bass and a slip-slidin' twang lead and "Drawn
to the Sea" is a lovely mid-paced ballad. "Summerstar",
with hints of Eddie Cochran in its arrangement is lighter uptempo
pop rock while "Bandido" is a fine flowing theme with
acoustic rhythm and a combines string/choral backing. :Land of the
Blackhearts" is a dramatic slow builder, "Doodlebug a
light pop rocker and "Bubble and Squeak" is slower pop
with elements of "Catch a Falling Star" in its melody.
"Cruiser Six" ups the stakes a little with a country tinged
jaunt, but the moody "Red Light Zone" is seriously atmospheric.
You can just picture the back street scene: raincoat collar up,
trilby cocked at a slight angle, cigarette smoke drifting up. What
next but "Black Knickers", a steady rocker set to a Bo
Diddley beat, and finally there's a dreamy mid-tempo closer on "Electroglide".
This is a welcome set of original material in a traditional melodic
UK vein from two instro heroes. It has high spots and is never less
than pleasant so it is eminently playable. (February 2006)
Central" - by Phil Dirt
Bonney and Buzz Rock-Ola Label: Double Crown DCCD020
Bill Bonney, once bassist with the Fentones (Shane Fenton's backing
band) and Peter "Buzz" Miller (Jaywalkers, Big Boy Pete) collaborated
for this album in some ways to round out their sizable contributions
to UK sixties instrumentals. It's a lush sounding disc with more
romance than rock, and some really splendid playing. Overall, the
sound is too much washed in reverb for my taste, but it does compliment
the UK guitar sound well.
Picks: The Sunburst Kid, Thunderbird Road, Land Of The Blackhearts,
Bubble and Squeak, Cruiser Six, Red Light Zone, Electroglide
"The Sunburst Kid" This is a very nicely done instrumental, with
complimentary interplay between the two guitars, and a galloping
beat. Fluid melody, Hawaiian steel, with moodiness and optimism
coexisting. Quite nice.
"Thunderbird Road" has a traveling kind of feeling, with long sustain
and fifties chordage. Aside from repetitious drums, this is a kind
of haunting track with an intriguing sound.
"Drawn To The Sea" is a lush and pretty instrumental in the Shadows
mature tradition. Low on energy because it's a flowing and sad song,
it also has an atmospheric chemistry that ties it together.
"Summerstar" Hinting of "Summertime Blues," but with an entirely
different melody, Summerstar is a light weight piece with long delayed
guitar lines and a pop feel. Pretty and relaxing.
"Bandito" Dramatic and moody, this Shadows-like song is long on
atmosphere and spatial width. It's very nice in the way only the
Shadows' sound can produce. The chorus completes the genre's sound.
"Land Of The Blackhearts" With the sort of drama and sadness only
spaghetti westerns can deliver, "Land Of The Blackhearts" plays
out like a post-mortem scene with Morrecone-like depth. Very cool!
"Doodlebug" A term that was born of the thirties, "Doodlebug" seems
an unlikely title for this decidedly UK sixties styled guitar instro.
It's light weight and playful, and very nicely done.
"Bubble and Squeak" With a slow saunter and sunset sound, "Bubble
and Squeak" grows on you like country music's Sunday picnic sounds.
"Cruiser Six" A slow and very nicely played instro, "Cruiser Six"
has a haunted sound that runs contrary to the lightness of the melody.
It's a splendid song that's got a long-delay guitar happiness and
"Red Light Zone" With the waterfront haunt of an Earl Hagen song
like "Harlem Nocturne," though a little less epic, "Red Light Zone"
slowly oozes the blue soul of the forgotten who wander under the
street lights in the fog. Excellent.
"Black Knickers" A stop-start beat and melody line bumps along with
an English instro sound and structure. I'm not sure why the title,
but then again, why not!
"Electroglide" is a very haunting and romantic guitar instro that's
very much in the Shadows' mold, with long delayed sustain and chamber
reverb sound. Quite pretty.
Magazine" - Mark Newson
Bonney & Buzz ¯ Rock-Ola
I know what you’re thinking - who the hell’s Bonney & Buzz? I thought
exactly the same until I discovered they were none other than Bill
Bonney from The Fentones and Pete 'Buzz' Miller from the Jaywalkers.
What a combination! The Fentones have always been one of my favourite
early 60’s British instrumental groups, with classics behind them
such as 'The Mexican' and 'Just for Jerry'. Apart from their own
independent success, they were of course, backing group to Shane
Fenton and played on all of his hits including 'I’m a Moody Guy'
and 'Cindy’s Birthday'. At the same time Pete Miller was recording
for Joe Meek as lead guitarist for the Jaywalkers - they were always
a bit too loud and raucous for me. That said, they were very popular
and played a large part to RGM Sound. Bill and Pete first met back
in 1962 when they appeared together on a Larry Parnes package tour,
along with John Leyton, The Tornadoes, Eden Kane, Karl Denver and
Joe Brown. 43 years later, the pair have teamed up, despite the
fact that Bill lives in Canada and Pete lives in San Francisco.
This new 12 track CD was recorded in Pete’s studio. All recordings
were written by Pete ('Black Stockings' was written by them both).
The CD opens with 'The Sunburst Kid' - a good track that could have
come from one of the Shadows EPs. Track 2 is better - 'Thunderbird
Road' - oh dear, the Shadows come to mind again. 'Drawn to the Sea'
is a lovely slow instro - it pictures images of surf and sun. I
liked this one very much. 'Summerstar' starts off with a very similar
backing to 'Something Else' by Eddie Cochrain - these tracks are
so different to Pete’s recordings with the Jaywalkers. 'Bandido'
is next. I love this track, with its haunting backing vocals. It
brings to mind the ‘spaghetti westerns’ (which is probably why I
like it so much). Track 6 is 'Land of the Blackhearts' - I liked
this too. 'Doodlebug' didn’t do anything for me - a nondescript
number. Ditto tracks 8 and 9. 'Red Light Zone' is a good atmospheric
number, and it certainly suggests images of prostitutes standing
in dodgy alleyways, smoking and parading. Sorry to say that Bill’s
only contribution to this CD is a bit of a let-down. The final track
is 'Electroglide', and with this, Santo and Johnny come to mind.
My favourite on ths CD is 'Bandido' - you can almost picture Lee
Van Cleef riding off into the sunset.
RockBeat International - Top Ten
Albums of 2005
Bonney & Buzz ¯ Rock-Ola
What we have here is an album of 12 guitar instrumentals that
are tight, economic, and friskier than a litter of kittens. Flipping
back to the days when the Shadows, the Champs, and the Ventures
were all the rage, Rock-Ola flickers with tasty riffs proving that
one doesn’t have to indulge in razzle and dazzle to be a good guitar
player. For the record, the two fellows who teamed up on this project
are veterans of the scene, having aquired fame during the early
sixties. Bonney is Bill Bonney from the Fendermen, while Buzz is
Pete Miller, who was in Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers and the News.
- By Beverly Paterson
RockBeat International - Reviews
Bonney & Buzz ¯ Rock-Ola
Bill Bonney and Pete "Buzz“ Miller (aka Big Boy Pete) both played
in instrumental combos back in the early days of British rock -
Bonney played bass in the Fentones ("The Mexican,“ "The Breeze and
I“), while Miller played lead guitar in the Jaywalkers ("Can Can
62,“ "Totem Pole“). The two first met in 1962 when their respective
bands were part of the same package tour. While they never formally
worked together, they often partcipated in pre-show jam sessions,
and became friends. After recently hooking up again via the ineternet,
Bonney and Miller have gotten together and recorded an album of
guitar instrumental entitled Rock-Ola.
The album recalls the glory days of rock instrumentals, and brings
to mind the likes of Duane Eddy, The Shadows, and the Ventures.
The songs sound as if they could have been recorded during the sixties
- Bonney and Miller stick to period style arrangements and instrumentation,
with lots of twangy and reverbed guitar. There’s not a lot of fast
or flashy playing; rather the emphasis is on strong melodies and
solid arrangements. The album’s 12 song original tunes show the
influence of everything from surf music ("Drawn to the Sea“) to
rockabilly ("Summerstar“) to spaghetti western soundtracks ("Bandido“)
to rhythm and blues ("Red Light Zone“)
If you dig instrumentals, you can’t go wrong with this. - By Geoff
"Tape-Op Magazine" - Sept.
2005 - by Larry Crane
Bonney & Buzz - Rock-Ola.
Peter Buzz Miller, the director of the Audio Institute of America
in San Francisco, has a funny little secret. He was a busy musician
in the sixties in England, even recording with Joe Meek and a young
Eddie Kramer (at Pye). He was in The Offbeats, The Jaywalkers and
did psychedelic recordings under the name Big Boy Pete. Bill Bonney
played in The Fentones back in the day, and stumbled across his
old tour mate of forty years ago online recently. So what did they
do? They met up in SF and record an album of cool rock guitar instrumentals
at Buzz’s all analog studio. I rarely do this, but here’s a list
of relevant gear from Buzz:
1958 Fender Bandmaster (with three 10“ speakers mic’ed with a Reslo
ribbon and SM57. 1962 Fender Stratocaster with flatwound strings.
MCI 1“ 8-track. Otari MTR90 II 2“ 16-track. Ampex 44-B 2-track (for
mixdown). Soundcraft Series 600 console. RCA New-Orthophonic Hi-Fidelity
preamplifier. (1956) Humbert Humbert equalizer. (1962). Goobly Box
(FX). (1963). De Armonde 610 foot pedal (1962). Apollo compressor-limiter.
(1969). Binson Echorec (1964)). Ampex 350 (monophonic/full track)
for 15 and 7.5 slapback. (1958). Watkins Copycat. (1960). Farfisa
spring reverb. (1964). More than a few Boddingtons beers.
Notice the flatwound strings - important for vintage guitar sounds
I’ve found. The music is reminiscent of The Tornadoes or Shadows
- cool stuff. (www.dblcrown.com).
"Le Cri Du Coyote" Magazine
Bonney & Buzz -- Rock-Ola Admirateurs des Shadows, cette reusion
de deux anciens pionniers des 60's est pour vous. Le son est garanti
d'origine et les instrumentaux s'enchainent sans surprise majeure.
Ces madelaines rock 'n' roll ont un parfum electrique (110v) delicieusement
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