Pop Archives

The Mods - Love, Love, Love (1966)

(Geoff Stephens)
New Zealand New Zealand

Single on Zodiac by popular band at Hamilton in the Waikato region, now New Zealand’s fourth largest city.

The Mods were formed in 1964 in the wake of the Beatles’ visit to New Zealand. The bands of the Waikato beat boom were challenging the showbands who had dominated live venues.

Essential reading: 1. Andrew Schmidt, “Hamilton meets the Big Beat 1964-1972 Part 1”, at AudioCulture. 2. Bruce Sergeant’s Mods page.

Merci à Philippe pour la suggestion et les améliorations.

Réal Pascal - Blonde, Blonde, Blonde (1966)

(Geoff Stephens - Lucien Brien)
Canada Canada

Single on Caprice 4012 by Québécois singer.

French lyrics are by Lucien Brien, Canadian lyricist (adapter) (Discogs.com).

And that’s all we know!


Bobby Shafto - Love, Love, Love (Don’t Let Me Down) (1964)

(Geoff Stephens)
Original version

Merseybeat-influenced single on Parlophone August 1964.

Bobby Shafto was Bob Farrant from Hornsey in North London. He started out working for the composer Lionel Bart who was an associate of pop manager, promoter and publisher Larry Parnes. It was Bart who suggested his stage name from the old song that goes Bobby Shafto’s gone to sea, silver buckles on his knee. He had a good run in the music press, toured widely, and released at least six singles 1962-1966 but never hit the big time.

Reverting to Robert Farrant, he went into acting, as NME reported in 1967. He appeared in stage musicals in the 80s and has credits from the 70s and 80s at IMDb.

The composer:
Geoff Stephens (1934-2020) was one of Britain’s most prolific and successful songwriters of the 1960s.

His compositions include Winchester Cathedral, the old-time-radio styled hit for his New Vaudeville Band, and The Crying Game (Dave Berry, 1964), later known through the soundtrack of the film The Crying Game (1992).

Stephens collaborated with several other writers, notably John Carter on Semi-detached Suburban Mr Jones (Manfred Mann, 1966), My Sentimental Friend (Herman’s Hermits, 1969), and Take The Money And Run (Joe Dolan, 1972, also a NZ hit for Bunny Walters).

Liv Maessen’s Australian hit Knock Knock Who’s There? (1970) is a StephensCarter composition that co-charted with the original by Mary Hopkin.

Stephens also wrote, for example, with Les Reed on Tell Me When (Applejacks, 1964) and There’s A Kind Of Hush (Herman’s Hermits, 1967), and with Tony Macaulay on Sorry Suzanne (The Hollies, 1969), and The Lights Of Cincinnati (Scott Walker, 1969).

Doctor’s Orders, first released by Sunny (1974, #7 UK) and covered by Carol Douglas (1974, #11 USA), was written by Geoff Stephens with Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway.

Bobby Shafto: [PDFs at World Radio History]:
1. “New to You – Bobby Shafto”, Pop Weekly, 11 Dec 1962.
2. “Bobby Shafto – Tea Boy to Recording Star!” Record Mail, March 1962.
3. New Musical Express 23 Sept 1967: Under the new name of Robert Farrant, singer Bobby Shafto has become an actor and has understudy role in Alec Guiness play “Wise Child” at London’s Wyndham Theatre from October 10.

Geoff Stephens:
1. Guardian obituary, January 2021.
2. Geoff Stephens biography at All Music.