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Artones/Jets Showband Story (1960-1964)

Photo Gallery - Band Lineups - Discography - Audio samples - Where Are They Now?

The Story

Tommy Hayden was born in London and came to Ireland in the late 1950's and immediately set about forming a band. He would gather the best musicians he could find and they hit the road in early 1960 as the Artones. The earliest reference to them we can find is in March 1960 in an advert where they were looking for bookings from Easter onwards.

Based in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, the band didn't seem to have much success early on as most of the references to them we have found in 1960 newspapers were small adverts announcing the number of vacant dates the band was trying to fill. It would be January, 1961 before they got their first gig in Dublin in Barry's Hotel. 

Throughout 1961 things started to pick for the band and they started playing regularly around south Leinster, but soon spreading their wings and going further afield. By the end of that year, they were playing gigs from Donegal to Cork and all places in between. This was the very early days of the showband era and the idea of frontmen like Dickie Rock and Brendan Boyer had yet to surface on the Irish entertainment scene. Most bands had a leader (Tommy Hayden, Jack Ruane, Maurice Mulcahy, etc.) but they were not singing stars, just band leaders.

Apparently, in November 1962 (or thereabouts) the band (being managed by Jack Lynch) changed their name to Tommy Hayden and the Jet and added Jim O'Connor to the lin eup as their new lead singer. An article reporting the change made reference to the fact that the "Artones" moniker had lead to confusion among promoters and fans alike as every other band in the country seemed to be called the "something-tones." 

The lineup was Jim O'Connor (vocals), Wally Meehan (rhythm guitar), Jimmy Clarke (lead guitar), Pete Hayden (Tommy's brother on drums), Jack McGuinness (bass), Tommy Hayden (sax and bandleader), John Cleary (trumpet) and rounding out the eight-piece line-up was Mark Leech (piano and trombone). 

Although at the time of their name change the band was playing all around the country, they still seem to have been somewhat of a second tier band, often playing second billing to larger bands on many two-band dances. The last advert for a dance played by the Jets we found was for August 3rd, 1963, although we know the band did not call it quits.

In late 1964, it was announced that Sligo born Maisie McDaniel would be joining the showband ranks after the Fendermen left to join another band. The new outfit would be know as the Nevada Showband but it was actually just the Jets with the line-up being Tommy Hayden (sax and leader), Wally Meehan (guitar), Jim O'Connor (vocals and piano), Jack McGuinness (bass), Jimmy Clarke (guitar) and John Cleary (trumpet).

For more info, go to the Nevada story.

Photo Gallery

click on thumbnails for full image

Artones (RF) Artones (RF) Artones (WM) Artones (WM) Artones (WM)
       
Jets Showband (BK) Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon
Years Vocals Vocals Guitar Guitar Bass Drums Sax Trumpet Trombone
Early 1960 - Artones
1960     Wally
Meehan
Jimmy
Clarke
Jack
McGuinness
Peter
Hayden
Tommy
Hayden
John
Cleary
Mark
Leech
November, 1962 - Jets
1962   Jim
O'Connor
Wally
Meehan
Jimmy
Clarke
Jack
McGuinness
Peter
Hayden
Tommy
Hayden
John
Cleary
Mark
Leech
December, 1965 - Nevada
1964 Maisie
McDaniel
Jim
O'Connor
Wally
Meehan
Jimmy
Clarke
Jack
McGuinness
Peter
Hayden
Tommy
Hayden
John
Cleary
Mark
Leech
                   
                   

Discography

S - #3 Irish Charts
M

Audio Clips

         
Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon Coming Soon

Coming Soon

Where Are They Now?  

Wally Meehan:
Jimmy Clarke:
Jack McGuinness:
Peter Hayden:
Tommy Hayden:
John Cleary:
Mark Leech:

 


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In Loving Memory of Grant Gallagher: Sept. 21, 1990 - Nov. 18, 2006