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Pete Nelson

Nov 1967, Fabulous 208 Magazine

Pete Nelson
Born Peter William Lipscomb, 10 March 1943, Uxbridge, London, UK; Died 23 October 2005, Ealing, London, UK

Peter Nelson and The Travellers / Peter's Faces (c. 1960 - early 1965)
Peter Nelson (Solo) (mid-1965 - late 1966)
The Flower Pot Men (Sept 1967 - Oct 1969)
Peter Nelson (Solo #2) (1969)
White Plains (Oct 1969 - late 1974, 1978)
Peter Nelson (Solo #3) (early - mid 1972)
Zenith (late 1974 - 1975)

Peter Nelson and The Travellers / Peter's Faces (c. 1960 to early 1965)
In the late 1950s, teenage friends Peter Lipscomb and drummer Peter Coleman became involved in various Skiffle groups. Vocalist Peter took on the stage name of Nelson and soon The Travellers were born. By 1961 their sound had changed from skiffle to beat and the band was joined by guitarist John MacDonald, rhythm guitarist/sax player Tony Hall and bassist Tony Ross (aka Rupert Ross). The band played parties and youth clubs and quickly became local beat scene favorites. By early 1962, bassist Robin Shaw had taken over from Tony Ross, who later went on to join Carter-Lewis and The Southerners. Future Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell briefly took over on drums in the Summer of 1962, while their regular drummer was recovering from a broken arm. Future Eric Burdon and The Animals guitarist Vic Briggs also passed through the band's ranks that year, deputizing for member John MacDonald. In 1963, Robin Shaw temporarily left The Travellers to join Ronnie Wood's band The Rhythm and Blues Bohemians as their lead vocalist. Exactly how long Robin was absent is not known, however, he was present when the band played their month-long residency gig at The Star Club in Hamburg that same year. Early in the new year, the band recorded their first single, "Why Did You Bring Him To The Dance?". It was at this time that Producer and Piccadilly A&R man, Ray Horricks, recommended a name change to Peter's Faces. Their debut single was released in March of 1964 to warm reviews. Several news clippings credit Pete Nelson with both vocals and bass during that time, suggesting that Robin was not present during the recording and promotion of the single. However, Robin's backing vocals can be heard on the single's B-side "She's In Love". By all accounts, Robin was officially back with the band before the release of their next two singles: "Try A Little Love My Friend" and "(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet". At some point in the Autumn of 1964, Vic Briggs returned to the band, once again taking over from John MacDonald. It's not known how long Vic remained with the band, nor the reason for John's temporary departure. Presumably, John returned before the recording of their last single "De-Boom-Lay-Boom", which saw a release in January of 1965. During these active years, the band performed frequently on radio programs and appeared on several TV shows, including Ready Steady Go!CrackerjackThank Your Lucky StarsScene at 6:30, and One Night Stand. After modest success, but no chart hits, the band called it quits in early 1965.

Members (1960 - 1965):
Peter Nelson - vocals (also bass in 1963)
John MacDonald - guitar (c. 1961 - early 1965)
Vic Briggs - guitar (Summer 1962 and Autumn 1964)
Tony Hall - rhythm guitar, sax (c. 1961 - early 1965)
Tony Ross (aka Rupert Ross) - bass (up to 1962)
Robin Shaw - bass (1962-1963, 1964-1965)
Peter Coleman - drums
Mitch Mitchell - drums (Summer 1962)

Albums (as Peter Nelson and The Travellers):
Twist At The Star Club, Hamburg, Phillips, UK, 1963
"Please Please Me" (Lennon-McCartney)
"Loop De Loop" (Dong, Vann)
Star-Club Show, Star Club Records, Germany, 1963
"Please Please Me" (Lennon-McCartney)

Singles (UK) (as Peter's Faces):
"Why Did You Bring Him To The Dance?" (Nelson) b/w "She's In Love" (Nelson), Piccadilly, March 1964
"Try A Little Love" (Nelson) b/w "I Don't Care" (Schroeder, King), Piccadilly, 7 Aug 1964
"(Just Like) Romeo And Juliet" (Hamilton, Gorman) b/w "Wait" (Hall, Scrimshaw), Piccadilly, 9 Oct 1964
"De-Boom-Lay-Boom" (Barkan, Heard) b/w "Susie-Q" (Hawkins, Lewis, Broadwater), Piccadilly, 29 Jan 1965

Summer 1962
L to R: Robin Shaw, Peter Nelson, Mitch Mitchell, Tony Hall, and Vic Briggs
Photo from Jimi Hendrix: Inside the Experience book by Mitch Mitchell

c. 1965
L to R: John MacDonald, Peter Coleman, Peter Nelson, Robin Shaw, and Tony Hall
Pic from Jukebox Magazine

Peter Nelson (Solo) (mid-1965 to late 1966)
After Peter's Faces disbanded in early 1965, Peter Nelson was re-signed to the Piccadilly label as a solo artist. Moving in a new direction, away from beat and onto a more singer-songwriter influenced sound, Peter's first single was the self-penned "Love Will Come Your Way". The next single, a cover of Ritchie Valens' "Donna", was released that November and was promoted with an appearance on ITV's Thank Your Lucky Stars. Two more singles, "Don't Make Promises" and "A Little Bit Later On Down The Line", were released the following year, but both failed to garner much attention from the record-buying public. 

Singles (UK):
"Love Will Come Your Way" (Nelson) b/w "You're Not For Me" (Nelson), Piccadilly, June 1965
"Donna" (Ritchie Valens) b/w "I Want To Be Wanted" (Spotti), Piccadilly, 12 Nov 1965
"Don't Make Promises (You Can't Keep) (Hardin) b/w "No Need To Cry" (Nelson), Piccadilly, April 1966
"A Little Bit Later On Down The Line" (Chip Taylor) b/w "You're Not For Me" (Nelson), Piccadilly, 2 Sept 1966

Pic from Don't Make Promises CD booklet, 2002

The Flower Pot Men (September 1967 to October 1969)
The Flower Pot Men started out as a studio project created by John Carter and Ken Lewis (formerly of The Ivy League). Their best known hit, "Let's Go To San Francisco", peaked at number 4 on the UK charts in August of 1967. Because of the success of this single, a touring band was formed with Tony Burrows, Pete Nelson, Robin Shaw, and Neil Landon as the four main vocalists, along with an ever-changing lineup of backing musicians (soon to be known as The Sundial). During the promotional period of the first two singles, the group would mime to the studio recordings for tv appearances, as both had featured John Carter and Ken Lewis on vocals. It wasn't until the third single, "Man Without A Woman" (released 5 April 1968), that Tony Burrows would be featured on lead. This third single wouldn't prove as successful and in July of '68 the single "Piccolo Man", featuring Neil Landon on lead vocals, would be released under the name Friends. By early 1969, Neil Landon had left to join the band Fat Mattress, which he had formed in the Summer of '68 with Jimi Hendrix Experience bassist, Noel Redding. Neil was quickly replaced by backing band member Ricky Wolff. By now the band was under the production team of Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway and one last single was released using the Flower Pot Men name on 28 March 1969, "In A Moment Of Madness". The band continued to tour and in late October they went into the studio to record what would become White Plains' first and biggest hit, "My Baby Loves Lovin'".

John Carter - vocals (studio only, 1967)
Ken Lewis - vocals (studio only, 1967)
Robin Shaw - vocals, bass (Summer 1967 - Oct 1969)
Tony Burrows - vocals (Sept 1967 - Oct 1969)
Pete Nelson - vocals (Sept 1967 - Oct 1969)
Neil Landon - vocals (Sept 1967 - Jan 1969)
Ricky Wolff - vocals (Jan 1969 - Oct 1969) and guitar, keyboards, flute, sax (Oct 1968 - Oct 1969)
Micky Keen - guitar (studio only, 1967)
Ged Peck - guitar (Sept 1967 - Aug 1968)
Mick Stewart - guitar (Aug 1968 - Sept 1968)
Robin Box - guitar (Sept 1968 - Nov 1969)
Nick Simper - bass (Sept 1967 - late Feb 1968)
Tex Makins - bass (March - May 1968, July - Aug 1968)
Gordon Haskell - bass (May-July 1968, Sept-mid Oct 1968) 
Billy Davidson - keyboards (Sept 1967 - Jan 1968)
Jon Lord - keyboards (Jan 1968 - late Feb 1968)
Johnny Carroll - keyboards (March 1968 - May 1968)
Tony Hall - tenor sax (Sept 1968 - early Oct 1968)
Carlo Little - drums (Sept 1967 - Sept 1968)
Roger Hills- drums (Sept 1968 - Oct 1969)

Singles (UK):
"Let's Go To San Francisco (Part 1)" (Carter, Lewis) b/w "Let's Go To San Francisco (Part 2)" (Carter, Lewis), Deram, 4 Aug 1967
"A Walk In The Sky" (Carter, Lewis, Alquist) b/w "Am I Losing You" (Carter), Deram, 10 Nov 1967
"Man Without A Woman" (Carter, Alquist) b/w "You Can Never Be Wrong" (Carter, Lewis, Alquist), Deram, 5 April 1968
"Piccolo Man" (Carter, Lewis, Alquist) b/w "Mythological Sunday" (Carter, Alquist), Deram, 19 July 1968 [as Friends]
"In A Moment Of Madness" (Cook, Greenaway) b/w "Young Birds Fly" (Swofford), Deram, 28 March 1969 [Recorded on 17 Feb 1969]

Songs with Pete Nelson on lead vocals:
"You Can Never Be Wrong" (Carter, Lewis, Alquist) (B-Side)
"In A Moment Of Madness" (Cook, Greenaway) (Single)

c. 1967
L to R: Tony Burrows, Robin Shaw, Neil Landon, and Pete Nelson
Pic from Lord Neilson's Star Cards, 1968 Series

c. 1967
L to R: Robin Shaw, Neil Landon, Tony Burrows, and Pete Nelson
Pic from Let's Go To San Francisco LP cover

Promo photo, April 1969
L to R: Pete Nelson, Robin Shaw, Ricky Wolff, and Tony Burrows

Peter Nelson (Solo #2) (1969)
Around mid-1969, while still a member of the Flower Pot Men, Peter Nelson recorded and released a solo single in Germany. "Warum, Wieso, Wann, Wer Und Wo" (Why, Why, When, Who And Where) backed with "Jenny Mit Dem Silberblick" (Jenny with the "Silver view") was released on Columbia Records. The tracks were written by Graham Bonney (British pop singer based in Germany), German lyricist Werner Raschek (who uses the alias "Lou Barks" on the A-side), and Thomas Flemke (a German songwriter).

Singles (Germany):
"Warum, Wieso, Wann, Wer Und Wo" (Bonney, Flecke, Barks w/ Arr. Greenslade) b/w "Jenny Mit Dem Silberblick" (Bonney, Raschek w/ Arr. Greenslade), Columbia, 1969

Picture sleeve, 1969

White Plains (October 1969 to late 1974, 1978)
See full biography HERE

In early 1969, Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook took over as Producers of the Flower Pot Men from John Carter and Ken Lewis. On 28 March 1969, one last single "In A Moment Of Madness" was released, but the track failed to chart. Early that Summer, after what he describes as a "particularly harrowing" tour of Israel and Hungary, Tony Burrows made the decision to leave the group. It's not known exactly when Tony stopped gigging with the group, but they continued to play live shows throughout the rest of the year. The Producers sought to give a hit single one last shot and White Plains were regrouped that October to record four new tracks with Ricky Wolff on lead vocals: "Today I Killed A Man I Didn't Know", "You've Got Your Troubles", "Show Me Your Hand", and "My Baby Loves Lovin'". The group played at least one gig after these recordings that November (Middlesbrough Showboat on 21st November 1969). By the end of the year, the band had dissolved and the recordings were shelved. Not long after, Decca A&R man, Dick Rowe, decided he wanted to release these recordings under a new name and chose White Plains after the town in New York. Their first single was "My Baby Loves Lovin'", purposely released after the holidays on 2 January 1970. Due to Ricky Wolff being unavailable during the early promo period, Roger Greenaway took over on lead vocals for all promotional appearances. Upon Ricky's return in early Spring, Roger resumed his main position as co-producer. Over the next four years, two albums and thirteen singles were released. After several lineup changes and dwindling chart success, the band called it quits in late 1974. In 1975, the remaining members of the band released two singles under the name Zenith. Then in 1976, the name was loaned out to a new lineup and the single "Summer Nights" was released. White Plains was revived once again in 1978 by original members Pete Nelson and Robin Box and two last singles were released on PVK Records.

Members (October 1969 - late 1974, 1978):
Pete Nelson - vocals, rhythm guitar, piano (1969-1974, 1978)
Ricky Wolff - vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, sax, flute (1969 - early 1971)
Tony Burrows - vocals (1969)
Robin Shaw -  bass, vocals (1969 - late 1973)
Robin Box - lead guitar, vocals (1969-1974, 1978)
Julian Bailey - drums (Spring 1970 - mid 1970)
Roger Hills - drums (1969, mid 1970 - mid 1973)
Brian Johnston - keyboards, vocals (Spring 1970 - Autumn 1970)
Ron Reynolds - keyboards, vocals (mid 1972 - 1974)
Brent Scott Carter - tenor sax, flute (mid 1971- mid 1972)
Tony Hall - tenor sax (mid 1971 - mid 1972)
David Kerr-Clemenson - bass, vocals (late 1973 - 1974)
Tex Marsh - drums (mid 1973 - 1974)

Albums (UK):
White Plains (self-titled), Deram, Sept 1970
When You Are A King, Deram, Oct 1971

Songs with Pete Nelson on lead vocals:
"A Simple Man" (B-side)
"Beachcomber" (B-side)
"Dad You Saved The World" (Single)
"Dance With You" (Single)
"Ecstasy" (Single)
"Every Little Move She Makes" (Single)
"Gonna Miss Her Mississippi" (Single)
"I Can't Stop" (Single)
"(I Remember) Summer Morning (LP track)
"In A Moment Of Madness" (LP track) (Previously released as a Flower Pot Men single)
"I've Got You On My Mind" (Single)
"Julie Anne" (Single and B-Side)
"Julie Do Ya Love Me" (Single)
"Just For A Change" (B-side)
"Let All The People Come Together" (1974, previously unreleased)
"Look To See" (B-side)
"Noises (In My Head)" (B-Side)
"Nothing Else Comes Easy" (1974, previously unreleased)
"Shadows Of My Youth" (1974, previously unreleased)
"Slow Slow Down" (1974, previously unreleased)
"Step Into A Dream (Single)
"Sunny, Honey Girl (Version 2)" (B-side)
"Taffeta Rose" (LP track)
"Wanna Fall In Love" (Single)
"When You Are A King" (Single)

Early 1970
L to R: Robin Box, Julian Bailey, Pete Nelson, Robin Shaw, and Brian Johnston
Pic from Jackie Magazine, June 1970

TOTP, 14 May 1970
L to R: Brian Johnston, Ricky Wolff, Robin Box, Pete Nelson, Robin Shaw, and Julian Bailey

Photo from Popscene

© Photo by Chris Walter
c. 1971
L to R: Roger Hills, Pete Nelson, Tony Hall, Brent Scott Carter, Robin Box, and Robin Shaw

© Photo by Chris Walter
TOTP, 22 Feb 1973
Pete Nelson

Peter Nelson (Solo #3) (early to mid 1972)
Shortly after the release of White Plains' 8th single, "I Can't Stop", Pete Nelson decided to revive his solo career. A single entitled "Making My Life So Easy" was released in May of 1972 on the Peacock label, produced by Pete's long-time manager, Terry Young. A second self-penned single "Good Scotch Whiskey" was released later that Summer, but failed to crack the charts. White Plains released another single that Autumn ("Dad You Saved The World"), which was followed by the release of their hit single "Step Into A Dream" in January of 1973. Pete never did release another solo record and left the music industry after White Plains' final single release in November of 1978.

Singles (UK):
"Making My Life So Easy" (Nelson) b/w "I'm Not Blind" (Nelson), Peacock, 19 May 1972
"Good Scotch Whiskey" (Nelson) b/w "I Am A Ship" (Nelson), Peacock, 28 July 1972

Record label, July 1972
Pic from

Zenith (late 1974 to 1975)
Zenith was formed out of White Plains in late 1974 by Pete Nelson, Ron Reynolds, and Robin Box. Two singles were released on the Dawn label, both co-written by Pete Nelson and Ron Reynolds and produced by Tony Hiller. It isn't confirmed who played drums on the tracks, as Roger Hills had left White Plains in mid-1973 and Tex Marsh had gone on to rejoin the Tommy Hunt Band in late 1974. Nor is it confirmed who played bass, as both David Kerr-Clemenson and Robin Shaw were also involved with other projects.

Pete Nelson - vocals
Robin Box - guitar
Ron Reynolds - keyboards

Singles (UK):
"A Face You Won't Forget" (Reynolds, Nelson) b/w "Just The Two Of Us In Mind" (Reynolds, Nelson), Dawn, 17 Jan 1975
"A Fool That Was In Love" (Reynolds, Nelson) b/w "Silent Words" (Reynolds, Nelson), Dawn, 9 May 1975

45 Promo label
Pic from

If you have any corrections or further information, please contact me (Kelly).

posted by Kelly Kinsley