Updated March 2023
Maurice Mills - (Terry Webb) lead vocal
Dave Busby lead guitar, vocal
Wilf Haddon bass guitar, vocal
Ray Tew rhythm guitar, vocal
Jim Capaldi drums, vocal (left in 1962)
John Bonham drums, vocal (joined in 1962, left 1964)
Richard de Bastion keyboards, vocal (joined in 1962, left 1963)
Doug Hathaway drums (joined in 1964)
Written by Wilf Haddon and John Woodhouse
This historic 1963 photo shows standing from left to right; vocalist Terry Webb (Maurice Mills), Dave Busby (lead guitar), Wilf Haddon (bass guitar), Ray Tew (rhythm guitar), and sitting at the drum kit is fifteen year old John Bonham who eventually ended up in Led Zeppelin - one of the greatest rock groups the world has ever known!
Spiders bass guitarist Wilf Haddon remembers those exciting early days as part of the developing West Midlands music scene, and has shared his memories of "Terry Webb and The Spiders" as shown here exclusive to the BrumBeat web site as follows;
Putting on your favorite clothes and going out to enjoy live entertainment was a big part of growing up back in the days before television, personal computers, and social media took up many peoples lives. For teenagers, this meant going to the local dance halls and music venues where you could join up with your friends and enjoy a night of dancing along with the opportunity to meet members of the opposite sex.
Wilf Haddon remembered his early days upon deciding to join a group; "I took up the bass guitar as I couldn't get on with six strings, taking two strings off my first Spanish guitar. Four strings suited me best, and I was always interested in the 'beat' part of music as supplied by the drums and bass. My first proper bass guitar was a Hofner, progressing to an Epiphone Rivoli."
Terry Webb and The Spiders were formed in early 1962 from musicians around the Stratford-upon-Avon area, and were first known as "Maurice Dean and the Demons". The name followed a trend at that time started in the USA with groups like "Buddy Holly and The Crickets" as UK groups like "Cliff and The Shadows", and "Johnny Kidd and The Pirates" were very popular.
This early line-up was essentially the same that later became "The Spiders" with the exception of a young Jim Capaldi on drums who was born in Evesham on August 2, 1944. This was the same Jim Capaldi who went on to play drums and sing in a Worcester beat group called The Hellions and who later evolved into Deep Feeling before Jim left to help form the acclaimed Traffic with whom he went on to fame and fortune along with Dave Mason, Chris Wood and the incredibly talented Steve Winwood from The Spencer Davis Group.
Wilf Haddon said; "Jim used to live in Evesham, but the family moved to Worcester which was a major problem in getting to bookings, and practicing was nonexistent. We persevered for a few months but it didn't work out."
When Jim Capaldi left the line-up towards the end of 1962, another young drummer named John Bonham was recruited. John Henry "Bonzo" Bonham was born May 31, 1948 in Reddich, Worcestershire where he was raised and lived for most of his life. He learned to play drums at a young age, initially using a home-made drum set before graduating to a second-hand one. By the time he left school at 16, he had already joined Terry Webb and The Spiders while working by day with his father as an apprentice carpenter and laborer on building sites.
It sounds incredible now that this band included not just one, but two influential and world-famous drummers in their line-up. It's only fitting that rock music historians along with fans of both Traffic and Led Zeppelin should recognize Terry Webb and The Spiders as one of the more significant West Midlands groups.
Wilf Haddon explains the differing spelling of the group's name; "The spelling of the Spiders (Spyders) was correct at the time, as we named the group 'Terry Webb and the Spyders' but successive agents and bookers couldn't seem to get their head round it spelt that way. Perhaps they thought we had got it wrong as the lead singer was Terry Webb. Anyway we decided to go with the flow, and 'Spiders' it remained."
Although the group members may have had differing musical influences, it was their ability to play whatever was popular with their young audiences at the time in order to get regular bookings (or "gigs" as they are known today). Wilf said; "Our act consisted of a variety of differing music types, but mainly sticking to the hits of the day as that was what the audience liked. Maurice (Terry Webb) liked ballads and these went down well when he sang them, and were often requested. John Bonham was interested in anything loud."
Like most performing groups in those days, extra attention was given to their appearance and how they presented themselves on stage. Matching smart outfits were considered an essential part of the group's image. The ones they had made consisted of bright purple jackets with satin collars, with Terry sporting a gold lame one.
With the addition of Richard de Bastion on keyboards, Terry Webb and The Spiders performed as a semi-professional sextet around the West Midlands area and beyond. Will Haddon recalled; "The Spiders started out, like most groups, playing to local audiences. We did the rounds playing at village and church halls, fetes, and the local hospital."
"We gained more notice when we were on the same bill with groups like 'Peter Jay and The Jaywalkers', and 'Danny Storm and The Strollers', and 'Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages'. This was when when David Sutch was campaigning for MP (Monster Raving Loony Party) in a by-election in 1963."
As the number of bookings grew along with increasing distances to travel, having their own transportation became essential for the band and their equipment. They used a van, an old Bedford Dormobile to start with, until this was replaced with a more modern Commer van. Wilf recalled; "The Commer van was a deep blue, which over time became plastered with lipstick. We were eventually stopped by the police as some of the lipstick jottings were quite risque. We were advised to give the van a wash."
For Terry Webb and The Spiders, their horizons broadened as they swopped the village halls for larger venues and as the audiences grew in numbers, they played alongside some of the big groups who were topping the charts at that time. Although they restricted themselves to certain bookings as all had jobs, they found themselves playing alongside some of the leading groups of the day.
The Alcester Trades and Labour Club was always one of the favorite bookings for Terry Webb and The Spiders. Wilf Haddon recalled; "This venue was always a great place to regularly play at, and was always packed. We played there one night with Brian Poole & The Tremeloes when my amplifier broke down. As I tried to get the amp working again, I was approached by their bass player 'Chip' Hawkes, who offered me his complete kit to finish our performance. What a nice bunch of chaps they were."
Strangely, Terry Webb and The Spiders rarely performed in Birmingham even though it was the closest large city. Wilf Said; "Our base was more Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, and Herefordshire. We played The Matrix in Coventry, a nightclub in Walsall, and the Tardebigge in Redditch. All these venues boasted major groups as did our other favourites - The Top Spot Ballroom in Ross-on-Wye, and The Marine Ballroom in Evesham."
The only booking for the group in Birmingham that Wilf Haddon can remember was for the Students Union at The University of Aston. "It was a great night, but my main memory was having to struggle up and down the stairs to the students hall with our heavy amplifiers. I can't remember any lifts, maybe we weren't allowed to use them."
One particularly memorable booking for Terry Webb and The Spiders was at a dance hall in Cheltenham. The manager there did not like loud groups and so he installed a "sound meter" in the room. This meter would apparently cut the power to the band's electrical supply if the volume went over a set limit.
Wilf recalled; "As you could imagine with John Bonham drumming, the power was going off every few minutes with the manager jumping up and down, and this only seemed to amuse John. The problem was, although we could turn down our guitar amplifiers, John had no volume control on his drums so when the amplifiers were cut, John just carried on giving the audience a drum solo. Surprisingly, we were paid off but were never invited back."
That same night on the drive home, Terry Webb and The Spiders had another brush with fame. While the group stopped to fill up at a petrol station, they met London rock 'n' roll star "Wee Willie Harris" and his band. Willie was well known on TV since the 1950s for his wild performances on stage that included playing piano and double-bass!
On another memorable occasion, the group were playing at a nightclub in Walsall. Terry Webb and The Spiders had often received a great audience reaction for their energetic (and rather loud) performances, but this time, one member of the assembled dancing crowd took it to a new level.
According to Wilf, he recalled; "A demented dancer was on the dance floor right in front of the stage. This animated dancer stayed there the whole time we were playing, working himself into a frenzy. When we had finished our set, he tried to climb up onto the stage with me trying to repel him, only to be then told by one of the stewards that this person was the next act. He got up on the stage and introduced himself as "Paul Raven", who morphed years later into "Gary Glitter".
When their keyboard player Richard de Bastion had to leave, due to other commitments, this took the line-up back to five (there are no known photos of the group with Richard). The name Terry Webb and The Spiders was then changed as John Bonham thought the group needed to be more 'exciting' and so the band now became "The Soul Session Group".
It was under this new name that the group entered a "Battle of the Bands" competition. They easily made it through to the finals, but were unable to perform there on that date because of a prior booking commitment.
Wilf said; "John was almost as 'crazy' back then as in his Zeppelin days, trying to emulate the great drummers of the period and surpassing a lot of them. We had a great time playing with John, although a lot of the time we could hardly hear our amplified guitars over his powerful drumming."
By the summer of 1963, the pop music business was rapidly changing. The Beatles, along with other Liverpool groups, were storming the record charts and the "beat boom" was now sweeping the UK. The big London-based record companies looked to the north in search of other similar sounding groups. The term "Brum Beat" was coined in an effort to attract interest for local bands throughout the West Midlands.
Wilf Haddon remembered; "We were provisionally booked for the Birmingham Hippodrome, backing an up and coming group known as 'The Beatles'. We were later informed by our manager that he had pulled us out, as the organiser was not offering enough money. We later realised we had missed a great night."
John Bonham got restless and decided to leave the band by the end of 1963 although he continued to perform with them occasionally. He joined a Birmingham-based beat group called The Senators at the invitation of his friend Terry Beal who was their vocalist. The Senators recorded tracks for the now rare DIAL Records "Brum Beat" LP issued in 1964 that are significant as John Bonham's first appearance on a record.
Wilf Haddon recalled; "After John had left the group, the name reverted back to Terry Webb and the Spiders, recruiting Doug Hathaway who was a local drummer. The group remained with this line-up until disbanding."
Terry Webb and The Spiders carried on a few more years before calling it a day and going their separate ways. When the group disbanded, contact was mainly lost between members as they lived and worked in different towns and villages around the Stratford-upon-Avon area. John Bonham of course went on to play in other West Midlands groups including The Band of Joy with Robert Plant before enjoying world wide fame in Led Zeppelin.
Maurice Mills (Terry Webb) went on to sing with the "Derek Wells Big Band" from Redditch before later emigrating to Australia. Dave Busby continued playing, eventually joining the Evesham pop group Cats Eyes with whom he made several records that were issued on the Deram label. Ray Tew kept up his guitar playing, occasionally performing with Dave. Doug Hathaway returned to his day job.
Their former keyboard player Richard de Bastion eventually settled in Germany where he became a well-known and respected singer/songwriter, playing both piano and guitar. He returned to the UK for a while in the later 1970s to perform with a line-up of the famous "Edgar Broughton Band". Richard passed away in 2019 but his daughter Roxanne is active in the music business.
As for Wilf Haddon, he became a commercial photographer in Stratford before moving to London to work for The Home Office. He said; "A reunion concert was held 25 years after the group disbanded, and I was surprised how many people turned up to relive the days of Terry Webb and the Spiders."
The 1990 reunion photo shown here was taken by Angela Haddon. Wilf is shown standing with Doug and Ray but did not play at the reunion as he lived in London and couldn't attend rehearsals. Maurice (Terry Webb) travelled from Australia for the event.
Copyright © BrumBeat.net
This page is dedicated to the members of Terry Webb and The Spiders and all those who remember them. Many thanks to Wilf Haddon for sharing his memories of the band and the rare photos of Terry Webb and The Spiders shown on this page.
The John Bonham Reddich Memorial and 40 Year video details can be seen by clicking here HERE.
If you would like to contribute to this page, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Fleur de Lys meat pies were famous around the West Midlands and were also sold at Alex's Pie Stand in central Birmingham that became a regular meeting place for bands to eat following a late night booking. Wilf Haddon sent a great story that I'm sharing here as follows;
"While waiting to take up my post with the Home Office, I took a temporary job with a company who provided the night security for Fleur de Lys. This was accomplished by visiting the factory a few times a night on my rounds as a dog patrol in the Warwick/Leamington area.
The first night I visited, I checked all around inside the empty factory and offices with my trusty dog, a large German Shepherd named Peter, with Peter going wild with all the lovely meat smells.
The next day when I reported for my night shift, I was hauled over the coals by the security firm's manager, who told me in no uncertain terms that I should not have taken the dog into the factory.
Trying to be clever, I asked him why he thought that I had taken the dog into the factory. His reply was that he had had the pie factory manager on the phone complaining there was floury paw prints throughout the premises. Caught bang to rights, but I chuckled when I had left his office."