Wishful Thinking

Kevin Scott

“Time”, Me, Mike, Danny and John.

Our album ‘Wishful Thinking Live Vol .1’ has become a collector’s piece, – for the album cover that is! Our album ‘Hiroshima’ has to be one of the biggest ‘sleepers’ of all time. By the time it started to create an impact, John and I were with the New Seekers group, me as a member of the group and John as our musical director.

It’s great that we’ve stayed in touch and remained the best of friends over the years, despite having so many other ‘careers’. I’d love to tell you more about my life and times not only with Wishful, but also New Seekers, Prima Donna, Eurovision, making radio and TV commercials with John and helping to create some of the top theme park attractions in Europe. Interested? read on, below the gallery.

Kevin’s Gallery


My Full Biography

  • Aka. Danny Finn
  • Family Name: Kevin Finn
  • Home town: Southampton
  • School: St Mary’s College
  • Vocals/Acoustic Guitar

 I always wanted to be on the stage; from as far back as I can remember. An early party-piece was miming to ‘This Ol’ House’ by Rosemary Clooney, particularly, the bit when the deep voice sang the chorus bit ‘Ainta gonna need this house no longer, ainta gonna need this house no more…’!

At primary school, some of my teachers were nuns, then, when I moved to St Mary’s College, I was taught by Christian brothers. I suppose that’s what influenced my thoughts about becoming a priest or a Christian brother. Then, I discovered Elvis and Bill Haley and my life changed forever!

 My Saturday mornings were spent at the Gaumont in Southampton, at the ‘Teenage Show’! The show comprised a DJ on stage, playing records, surrounded by kids dancing, a group playing live, then movies; what bliss! I wanted to be on that stage, in a group. I just had to buy a guitar and sing in a band! That’s where I first saw Tony! He was playing lead guitar with a group called The Strangers and was ‘kinda cool’! Eventually, I joined ‘The Whirlwinds’, a popular Southampton band, as lead vocalist. Part of the audition was not whether I was a good singer, but more important was that I knew the words to the songs!

A very young Kev.

A very young Kev.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, I answered an advert in the Southampton Evening Echo by a local showbiz entrepreneur, John Ferris, who was looking for a singer to manage. He was landed with me! The first thing he did was change my name to Kevin Scott.

 With John’s help, I recorded two songs with The Whirlwinds, Fat’s Domino’s ‘Blueberry Hill’ and ‘The Dribble Twist’! (‘The Dribble Twist’ for God’s sake?). I even ‘guested’ as a singer with Tony’s group ‘The Strangers’ for a couple of gigs; can’t remember where they were exactly. I think, somewhere in Wiltshire; Calne and Marlborough come to mind. Maybe Tony remembers,- or perhaps he’s tried to blank the experience from his memory!

 

 "The Whirlwinds"-Mike Humphries Roy Payne and Roy Perry.

 Next, John put together a new group, ‘Kevin Scott & The Kinsmen’. We did pretty well locally and also played some great society gigs such as The British Racing Drivers’ Association’ at Grosvenor House in London, when we had the privilege of meeting some of the true racing driver legends, including the great Jim Clark, and Graham Hill and had the honour of being chosen to play before The Queen Mother. Boy, they were great times spent with a great bunch of guys. But we had our hearts set on getting a recording contract and it was time to move on…

Me and "The Kinsmen".

Me and "The Kinsmen".

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Time"

"Time"

So, the group ‘Time’ was formed. John Glenfield was on lead guitar, Mike Dubiel on bass, Danny Barbour on drums and me on lead vocals. John Ferris secured us a recording contract with Pye Records and we made two singles, ‘Take A Bit Of Notice’ and ‘The First Time I Saw The Sunshine’ (a copy of which, I’m told, was sold recently on eBay for £150!). The records didn’t exactly set the charts on fire, but dammit, we had records released! Great guys…good band! Then…along came Wishful Thinking!

 

 

 

A local agent and manager of many of the local, established groups and singers, Len Canham, a dear, lovely man, told me that Camberley-based Wishful Thinking, were looking for a new lead vocalist; it seemed that I might fit the bill. It seemed to work out ok and I was on my way to doing my first professional gig! I’d never been away from home before, now here I was, about to move some 40 miles up the road! It was a world away and my mum was sure she’d never see me again! The guys in the band were great to me, but I was definitely the new kid on the block! That’s when I first met Brian. He was terrific to me and I lived with him and his mum and dad in the early months away from home.

 It seemed to me at the time, that when I joined the group, we ‘hit the ground running’ and one memory that will stay with me forever, is driving into Copenhagen at the start of my professional career with the band and hearing ‘Step By Step’ on the radio as it was rising up the charts! The band was Brian on drums, Roger Charles on bass, Terry New on lead guitar and me on lead vocals.

During my first year in the group, Terry decided to leave for personal reasons and along came John! He moved down from Bourne in Lincolnshire to join the band and John and I decided to pool our resources and share a flat. Our idea of heaven on our days off from gigging, was cadging complimentary tickets to the local cinema in Woking, from our landlord, who was also the cinema manager, and tucking into a juicy steak and a bottle of the best Moroccan red wine from the local Tesco!

We enjoyed great times and some success, particularly in Denmark and were lucky to have a number of hits, which you’ll find out more about on this website. Actually, one of our records, ‘Count To Ten’ didn’t feature Brian on drums (can’t remember why), but Tony Meehan, Wishful’s record producer, brought in Mitch Mitchell to do the deed. Next time we saw him, he was with Jimi Hendrix!

 Our album ‘Wishful Thinking Live Vo.1’ has, over the years, become a collector’s piece, – for the album cover that is!

 Our album ‘Hiroshima’ has to be one of the biggest ‘sleepers’ of all time. First released in 1971, by the time it started to create an impact, some seven years later, John and I were already established with the ‘New Seekers’ group, me as a member of the group and John as the group’s musical director!

 It’s probably true to say that the disappointment of the album not setting the world on fire first time around caused us to lose impetus and we decided to gather our thoughts and concentrate on other ventures. I joined the Walt Disney Company for a couple of years and from time to time could be heard as a session singer on records, and tv shows by Cliff Richard, Harry Secombe and Olivia Newton John and live shows with groups such as The Kinks. 

 John and I probably stayed in closest contact throughout this time and regularly got together, usually for musical reasons. We were in the movie ‘That’ll Be The Day’ and if you’ve got the album, it’ll be our voices you’ll hear doing backing vocals on many of the tracks!

                                                                                    

WEB MPD 5Then came The New Seekers; well, no, that’s not quite true. Before that, I joined up with Marty Kristian and Paul Layton, from the New Seekers. We wrote and recorded some songs that were released by RCA, wrote some commercials that became part of a major British Airways campaign and did some live gigs as ‘MPD’. By this time, I was Danny Finn, hence the ‘D’! Being of Irish extraction, I’d often been referred to as “Danny boy”; I guess that’s where the ‘Danny’ came from!

 

 

 

 Being part of the New Seekers was a terrific experience, not least because that’s how Eve and I became partners. We enjoyed chart success, played some great gigs and worked with some fantastic artistes. Throughout this time, John and I were of course, still working closely together as part of the group set-up. If I remember correctly, it was while we were on tour in 1977, that we first heard about the stir that was beginning to be caused by ‘Hiroshima’. Coincidentally, it was around this time that Eve was coming to the conclusion, me too, that it might be time to move on. There’s a saying “sometimes the money is too expensive”. Ok. The money may be good, but you can only do so many gigs and stay in so many hotels, then what…?

"The New Seekers"

"The New Seekers"

At the time we decided to leave, we were riding quite high in the charts with a song called ‘Anthem (One Day In Every Week)’, with yours truly singing lead vocal. In the opinion of many, it was a great production by a great producer, Dave Mackay, who was responsible for so many of the group’s biggest hits.

Eventually, at the end of 1978, Eve and I left the group and in 1979 were married. We worked together as a duo and did some lovely gigs. We worked a lot in the Far East with some great bands and orchestras backing us, under John’s musical direction. We also toured with artistes such as Max Boyce and even did a gig at the London Palladium! Now, while all this was going on, the Wishful story was bubbling on, John’s recording studio work was making more demands on his time and I was becoming involved in the world of theme parks! Together, John and I wrote and recorded the theme music and created all the special sound effects for a new ride ‘Apirama’ (The Bee Ride) at Meli Park in Belgium. Over the years since then, we’ve done rides, shows, radio and tv commercials for parks and attractions throughout Europe. Chances are, if you’ve been to a theme/amusement park, you may have heard our musical efforts! But back to the groups! In 1980, after thinking that my experiences in a boy/girl group were over, I was contacted by Stuart Slater and Stephanie De Sykes, both successful singer/songwriters to be part of a – yep, boy/girl group to sing their song which had been chosen for ‘Song For Europe’ contest, a live tv show, with the winning song to represent the UK in the Hague. The group was called ‘Prima Donna’; the song was called ‘Love Enough For Two’. Well, we won the ‘Song For Europe ‘ bit and came third in the Hague. Not bad going I guess, when you consider what’s happened to the UK songs in recent years! Some of the members of that group went on to even greater successes; Kate Robbins as a singer-songwriter with hits of her own, and tv appearances in shows such as Victoria Wood’s ‘Dinner Ladies’ and Sally Anne Triplett, who is now such a big West End star. Alan Coulter, one of the boys in the group has been with The Hollies for a number of years. I used to know these people!

"Prima Donna"

"Prima Donna"

 

The following year, 1981, I sang again in ‘Song For Europe’ as part of a backing group for singer-songwriter Gary Benson. That was the year, a group called ‘Buck’s Fizz’ set Eurovision alight!

By now, more and more of my time was being taken up with the world of theme parks and it was while Eve and I were on tour with Max Boyce, that I decided to ‘come off the road’. It was agreed that I would leave the tour for a few days to go to Dallas for my theme park work, leaving Eve to go solo. When I re-joined the tour, it seemed that nobody had missed me! Ego bruised somewhat, I concentrated more on a Mickey Mouse world than a music one!

 

 

 

 Throughout all the experiences, the highs and lows, no matter what we were doing or where we were in the world, we kept up the Wishful contact with each other. It’s great that we’ve stayed in touch and remained the best of friends over the years, despite having so many other ‘careers’.

Tony, Me and John.

Tony, Me and John.

The other guys may have seen things a little differently from their perspective; you’ll have to ask them! I know I’ve missed out a lot, some forgotten times that the guys will have to remind me about, much of it I think I’ll keep to myself, -for now at least!

Thanks for being in touch!

Kevin

 

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