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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wayne Fontana born 28 October 1945

Wayne Fontana (born Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, 28 October 1945) is an English rock/pop singer, best known for the 1965 hit "Game of Love" with the Mindbenders.

Fontana was born in Manchester, Lancashire, and took his stage name from Elvis Presley's drummer, D.J. Fontana. In 1961 he formed his backing group; the Jets. After reforming and naming the group the Mindbenders in 1963, they secured a recording contract coincidentally, with Fontana Records. He and his group were one of the many talented acts to come out of Manchester during the 1960s 'beat boom'. Wayne was an
accomplished R&B singer and soon gained a useful following of female admirers in the north of England. 

The band had immediate chart success with their first single, but its lowly #46 position and the failure of its follows up were disappointing. However, "Um Um Um Um Um Um Um" peaked at #5 in October during 1964 in the UK charts.  'Game Of Love' was held back from the top spot by 'I'll Never Find Another You' by the Seekers. 

Sadly, by the end of 1965, although the hits had continued, Fontana decided to go solo. This appears not to have done him too much harm because he managed to achieve four more hits without the aid of his former backing musicians.  

He soldiered on alone, using musicians working under the name of the Boys and then the Opposition, notably Frank Renshaw (lead guitar) (born 22 June 1943, Wythenshawe, Manchester); Bernie Burns (drums); Roy "Rossi" Henshall (bass); Rod Gerrard (guitar, ex-Herman's Hermits), and Phil Keane (drums), among others.

Sometimes the band was billed as the Mindbenders, sometimes just as the Wayne Fontana Band. Fontana's most successful solo single release was also his last, "Pamela, Pamela", which reached No 11 in the UK Singles Chart early in 1967.

However, he faded from the scene rapidly after 1968 and although he continued on the club rounds he fell into obscurity for many years. Fortunately, after putting personal problems behind him, he was persuaded out of his retirement during the late 1980s. 

In 2005, he fought off bankruptcy but was arrested after police were called by bailiffs who went to his home in Glossop, Derbyshire. He poured petrol on the bonnet of a baliff's car and set it alight with the bailiff still inside. Fontana was remanded in custody on 25 May 2007. He later appeared at Derby Crown Court dressed as Lady Justice, complete with a sword, scales, crown, cape and dark glasses, and claiming "justice is blind". He dismissed his lawyers. On 10 November 2007 he was sentenced to 11 months for setting fire to the car but was released because he had already served the equivalent of the term, having been held under the Mental Health Act 1983. After his release he settled in Spain. 
In March 2011 Fontana was arrested at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, after failing to appear in court in Wakefield, over an unpaid speeding fine. When the matter was brought to court, it was found that the ticket had never been issued to him and he had returned home to Spain unaware that he had an outstanding ticket. 

It was also determined, at Wakefield
Magistrates' Court that points had been erroneously added to his licence and these were removed by the court. All outstanding fines were paid as well as pending parking fines and this cleared his record. 

Fontana continues to perform, notably in the Solid Silver 60s Shows. (Info mainly Wikipedia)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “The Very Best Of Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders” go here:

1. The Game of Love
2. A Groovy Kind of Love
3. Pamela, Pamela
4. Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um
5. It's Just a Little Bit Too Late
6. Ashes to Ashes
7. It Was Easier to Hurt Her
8. Hello Josephine
9. Uncle Jo, the Ice Cream Man
10. The Words of Bartholomew
11. Like I Did
12. The Letter
13. Come on Home
14. Long Time Comin'
15. Goodbye Bluebird
16. She Needs Love
17. (Can't Live with You) Can't Live Without You
18. Storybook Children
19. Stop, Look and Listen
20. Something Keeps Calling Me Back