Greenbeats Story (1964-1968)
Photo Gallery -
Band Lineups -
- Audio samples -
Where Are They Now?
The Greenbeats started life as a
four piece beat group on the Dublin scene called the Caravelles.
John Keogh (keyboards and vocals) and Paul Williams (RIP-guitar)
came together in 1960. In 1962 they were joined by Brian Lynch (bass)
Aherne (drums) and this would be the lineup which stayed together
for several years and changed their name to the Greenbeats in 1964
when they played the Cavern Club in LIverpool.
In 1964 the band released the
first of three singles Please Don't Tell on the Pye label.
Although it did not make the charts, it did help grow the band's
reputation beyond Dublin where they were one of the top beat groups
of the early to mid sixties. It also helped that they were the
resident band on the RTE series, The Showband Show, providing
backing for singers in the studio. As the year came to a close, they
released their second single, If This World Were Mine.
In 1965, Mog Ahern left the band
for health reasons, and was replaced by Paddy Green on drums. They
released So Sad in April which did not sell, but the band was
growing its reputation. Later in the year, John and the band took
the major step of expanding their lineup to become a fully fledged
seven piece showband. The
new lineup was John Keogh (keyboards), Bobby Kelly (ex-Chosen Few - guitar), Alex
Clarke (sax), Liam O'Sullivan (sax), Paddy Green (drums), Paul
Williams (RIP-guitar) and Peter Bardon (bass). The band took to the road
on September, 11, 1965. Alex Clarke would soon be replaced by Keith
In 1966 Paddy Green left and was
replaced by Dave Pennyfeather on drums. Later in the year Liam
O'Sullivan and Bobby Kelly left. Bobby returned to the Chosen Few
before being asked in 1967 to join the newly formed Sands Showband
and was replaced by Eddie Campbell.
In November, 1967, the band was involved in
a terrible road accident in which guitarist Paul Williams sadly lost
his life and Eddie Campbell and Keith Donald were seriously injured.
Initially, we thought the Greenbeats never played again. However,
we know they released a single in February, 1968. after a few
months of recuperation, Eddie, Keith and David Pennyfeather formed a
new band, The Real McCoy and bassist Peter Bardon took over
management of the new band. In the mean time, Brian Harris took
over on guitar.
More to come.....
click on thumbnails for full image
||John Keogh: In 1968,
John left the Greenbeats and went to work full time for RTE.
He also kept a hand in music, having written and recorded
several songs, including Stop, Think, recorded by Kim
Newport in 1979. He later formed the band Full Circle which
played the Dublin clubs. John retired from RTE in 2008.
Paul Williams - RIP:
Paul was tragically killed in an car crash as the band was
heading for a gig in Waterford in November, 1967. Also
injured in the crash were Eddie Campbell and Keith Donald.
An original member of the band since its formation as a four
piece, Paul had been studying science when he gave it up for
a career in music. He played lead guitar and was 23 years
old when he tragically lost his life.
||Bobby Kelly: Bobby
left the band to join the newly formed Sands and also played with the Hoot'nannys and Freshmen.
He backed Ronnie Drew during some of his solo years and eventually went on to join Chris Meehan's
Redneck Friends with whom he still plays from time to time. Bobby relocated to Strandhill, Co. Sligo
in the mid-90's and played with a variety of
bands. For ten years, Bobby had been playing the local scene with former Cotton Mill Boy and Ray Lynam guitarist, Francie
Lenehan, and now does occasional gigs
with Chris Meehan and his Redneck Friends, which Francie
Eddie joined with Keith and Dave to form the Real McCoy in
summer, 1968. In
1973, he left the McCoy and emigrated to Canada with the
Peter Law band.