Rocky Ricketts

On odd occasions in darkened corners of Bath’s less salubrious hostelries one might come across gentlemen of a certain age reminiscing about the long gone but fondly remembered Rocky Ricketts. Or to give the band its full title, Rocky Ricketts and the Jet Pilots of Jive Not Forgetting the Lovely Rockettes.

Bath’s finest ever rock band, Rocky Ricketts was an outrageous spoof that mocked the grandiose posturing of its more famous contemporaries in the seventies. So close was its parody to the genuine article that it tended to tour real rock venues both in the UK and in Holland. Thus it was often pared with headline bands the members of which were not always aware that their support that evening was undermining them by sending them up something rotten.

One band with a string of number one hits who did get it and who were in fact great fans, solved the problem of frequently being upstaged by the Rocky Show’s antics by resorting to always going on first. Pretty unheard of in the annals of rock history, don’t you think?

I played Rocky’s manager Vince, by the way, and I would signal the start of the show by coming on and ostentatiously disinfecting the spoof rock star’s microphone. Merely a couple of years ago the self same thing happened for real when I had to make an announcement (as myself) at a big rock gig and was roundly chided by the sound crew for even considering breathing on so-and-so’s mike. And believe it or not, out came the Wet Wipes!

Later, Rocky had another incarnation in the form of P.G.Trips which poked similar fun at psychodelia. Again, it was as good as the real thing but with tongue planted firmly in cheek

I was reminded of this while watching a Top of the Pops television compilation from the seventies this week. There, posing away on the bongos as part of a mega group (which shall remain anonymous) was a guy who back then suddenly realised halfway through our show that he might possibly be the subject of our satire. The audience were in fake rapture, but glancing into the wings I was somewhat alarmed to see the one-time mega-star attempting to throttle our stage manager!

So much for peace and love, man!

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3 Responses to Rocky Ricketts

  1. Colin and Frances Mansfield says:

    hi Ralph, we would love a picture of the famous Rocky Ricketts. Hope you are well,
    love Frances and Colin MansfieldX

  2. Colonel Wildtrousers says:

    As an impressionable 19 year old I spent the New Years eve in 1975 at Baths pavilion dance hall to see what I had been realisable informed was the worlds best R&R band. Having missed The Who at the same venue a few years earlier….. I knew I could not let this chance pass me by.

    Every NY Eve I wonder if I will live long enough to experience a better NY eve experience…..nothing has come close, the music, the tinned vegetables, the Mecca of R&R Bath Pavilion.

    I’ve been the proud owner of the vinyl recording that keeps the best NY eve experience alive for many years, word gets out that I own this pressing and the requests to make copy still keep rolling in……ok they don’t keep rolling but from time to time someone will ask to borrow the LP.

    Does the original master disc still exist? Is not time to reissue this master piece?
    I think so…….my copy, like me”…..is almost worn out.

  3. Ralph Oswick says:

    Sorry Colonel, I’ve been off air for a while with various debilitating aches and pains. I have forwarded your message to Rocky himself, now retired and living in Frome where all the old rock stars retire. Sorry, that’s Bruton isn’t it. I think he has the last remaining copy of the LP, all the others having been melted down to make shellac varnish to sell to Walcot Street furniture restorers.

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