The band was formed by Geoff Chew playing a medley of his chord for his cousin Peter Holland who happened to know the first two lines of “Be Bop A Lula” in something like the same key whilst at the same time Geoff Dixon in a slightly less than normal drunken stupor attempting to play the rhythm part to FBI. This intolerable din was hailed as a great success so the Fendamen were up and running. Shortly after Doreen Pritchard joined as Bobby’s Girl, closely followed by John Riggott who couldn’t play anything but did have a car. A bass was obtained on the promise of payment to follow, payment never did so the unfortunately named owner Mr R Soulby forceably repossessed the instrument (John was instantly demoted to transport manager).After a couple of personel changes in the group the Senators were born
They soon enlisted the talents of Brian Dobson the “after eight” drummer – this being the earliest he ever arrived as his winter months were occupied by 1st team rugby for Otley and his summers had an even less predictable arrival time as he played cricket for a local team.
On a memorable night at a Menston Youth Club dance, when the vicar arrived late to be greeted by the sight of Geoff Dixon showing all signs of being musically brain dead due to his earlier encounter with 11 pints at the local hostelry. He was propped in a corner with blood all over his blonde guitar as he had dropped his plectrum after three bars of Telstar, (the organ sound was courtesy of a Sooty type battery driven keyboard with a Grampian microphone wedged underneath it) so had proceeded to cut his right hand into a frenzied pulp. From out of the smoke filled room appeared Des O’Hara with his brother Kevin and mates to render their version of “Fallen leaves on the ground”. Mystically the next day Des had joined, Burns bass and all.
The Senators Rhythm Group
The Senators at Clifton Villas Otley (rehearsal room) posing for a newspaper article
Part of the The Senators in the back garden at Clifton Villas Otley rehearsing, left to right:
Ben Eals, Des O'Hara, Geoff Chew, Doreen Pritchard
The Senators left to right:
Johnny Philips Brian Dobson Des O'Hara Martyn Taylor Geoff Chew
The Senators (full compliment) at Hernandos Coffee Bar Leeds Left to Right: Peter Holland vocals, Doreen Pritchard vocals, Des O'Hara bass
Ben Eals rhythm guitar, Brian Dobson drums and Geoff Chew Lead guitar
The Senators Top Twenty Club Idle left to right:
Des O'Hara Geoff Chew Mike Larvin Johnny Philips and Martyn Taylor
Picture from Des O'Hara's 70th birthday bash at Otley Rugby Club December 2nd 2016.
The Senators left to right:
Geoff Chew (Senators
lead guitar), Pete Dickinson (Tarantulas guitarist), Mike Beer (Drums), Des O'Hara (Senators bass), Peter Holland (Senators singer),
and Ian Cunningham (Keyboard).