The Ollie Halsall Archive

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I Did it Otway

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Ollie Halsall

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johnotway.com

John Otway and Ollie Halsall

Way and Hal

John Halsey and Ollie HAlsall

Halsey & Halsall
Photo: Morgan Fisher

'Admiral' John Halsey
John Halsey

Otway on The Cobbles
Photos of the World Tour 'warm-up' Really Free concert at The Market Square, Aylesbury, Sunday 27 August 2006


"I remember meeting Ollie at John Otway's gig at the Whiskey here in L.A. Ollie was playing that ridiculous silver star-shaped guitar. He kept walking over to Otway in mid song to tune his guitar.

I guess for Ollie, Otway was an enjoyable lunatic to be around. Ollie was very pleasant. I told him I'd seen him in Hyde Park [June '74] with Kevin and he remembered it as an enjoyable gig. I was struck once more by the fact that Ollie seemed homeless and that he'd been wearing and sleeping in his stage clothes."

Marty Zucker 2011


I was in Ollie's company on numerous occasions during the late 70's early 80's when he would pop into the Verulam arms pub in North Watford he would get up on stage in the old music lounge and jam with the resident duo. Great times.

At the time he was guitarist for Gary Glitter's backing band and reahearsed in the music lounge for the gigs at Baileys nightclub he use to play the star guitar which he did not like and use to rehearse with harvey and tony leonard who where the only original members left and of course Glitter himself I use to go and watch rehearsals to get experience.

I was in a band managed by Joe Seabrook who had asked Ollie to give me and the band some guidance. I was only 17 at the time and Ollie would have been 28-29.

He was a zany but a modest shy character. I remember commenting on his ability as a musician and I say musician because it wasn't just his ability as a guitarist the guy was a multi uinstrumentalist, Drums, keyboard,bass, sax, vibes and of course right and left handed unaltered guitar his comment was I'm just a dude who likes to do what I do.

We used to have some great jam sessions with Ollie in one of the converted cellars that was our rehearsal studio, with Ollie on drums me on guitar and Nige on bass.

I would like to verify that whether the guitar was left or right handed Ollie could play either way with no mods or alterations to the guitar simply because it was my right handed 1967 Pro Gold Deluxe Gibson Les Paul that Ollie played and to say I was lost for words was an understatement. A totally unique guy.

I remember one time I was walking home guitar in hand when a Ford Granada pulls up along side of me. "Jump in, wandering minstrel" said a familar voice. It was Ollie, Tony Leonard & Harvey Ellison driving. They where going back to Ollie's house in Breakspeare Road, Abbotts langley. I was intending to go home, as it was on the way, but ended up back at Ollie's with the guys. We all got a bit out of it but it was great fun. I'll always remember this huge B&W poster of Ollie on the wall in a leopard skin outfit with guitar in hand. Wondered what happened to that. I know his wife and daughters moved in sometime after. Something I guess will never be known.

Gary Sears 2012

John Otway Band

Otway Band promo

Ollie Halsal

Photo: Morgan Fisher

Where Did I Go Right 1979

Where Did I Go Right? - John Otway

Makes Good Music
It's a Pain
Blue Eyes of the Belle
Best Dream
What a Woman
Frightened and Scared
Waiting
Hurting Her More

John's finest album until the 1995
Premature Adulation.
Drummer John Halsey toured with Otway & Ollie for this album although he didn't play on it.

Morgan Fisher: Keyboards


Scraps 2003 [CD 1 of 3]

Scraps album cover - John Otway

When Love's in Bloom was recorded at Olllie's house, probably in the same makeshift 'studio' where he did the original version of Travelling Show [from the Caves album].

Superbly packaged TRIPLE album of previously unreleased tracks, demos & rarities. The 1979 Ollie & Otway section has become known as WAY & HAL since rather inferior versions of these Otway/Halsall compositions surfaced 3 years later on OtWAY & BARrett's WAY & BAR album. Ollie contributes guitar, bass, drums & violin to his own production which is little short of a masterpiece.

£19.99 plus postage and packing

Buy the Scraps CD NOW!


Live in a Pub, Somewhere 1979
Louisa
Liberty Valence
Cor Baby, That's Really Free
Beware of the Flowers
Montreal
Remember The Alamo
Geneva
The Highwayman
My Body is Making Me
Cheryl's Going Home
Down The Road
Baby's in the Club
Green Green Grass of Home
House of the Rising Sun
Really Free [reprise]

There remains just this one live tape of the remarkable duo performing 'In a pub, Somewhere'

Otway reads an extract from his
autobiograph
y ;-)

House of the Rising Sun (Luton 2007)

Video by Peor

 

"Hearing Ollie's playing was one of the most memorable moments of myformative years as a guitarist. Astonishingly imaginative and accurate playing, with a naked, (mostly) talent booster free sound through a tiny valve amp. No safety net.

I wore the 'Patto' LP out completely.
It didn't do me any good though, as I am now in my 15th year of playing
opposite Otway - although it's a position made almost respectable,
thanks to Ollie."

Richard Holgarth
Lead guitarist with Eddie and the Hot Rods and The John Otway Big Band

Richard Holgarth

Photo © Barry Monks

Abbots Langley
with John Halsey

Abbots Langley album cover - Ollie Halsal with John Halsey

Bum Love
Monkey On My Back
Marietta’s Pizzas #1
Don’t Understand
This One’s For Me
Marietta’s Pizzas #2
Seven Days
Time Is By My Side
We Want Out
Marietta’s Pizzas #3
Roll Around

Bonus tracks:
Seven Days (alternative version)
We Want Out (instrumental version)
Run
Shame Shame

This new album of previously unreleased recordings by Ollie Halsall is now available from Market Square Records [MSMCD 145].

The material, which includes nine Halsall originals, dates from a 1980 colaboration with drummer John Halsey and is completed by some very unusual extra recordings.

£7.99 plus postage and packing

Buy the Abbots Langley CD NOW!

The Abbots Langley story


Caves 1999

Caves

Hey Hey Little Girl
Come On Let's Go
Back Against the Wall
Crazy When I Fall in Love
Door to Door Daughter
Travelling Show
Lovers Leaping
Stepping Out
You Need a Friend
First Day in New York
Airplane Food
Summertime Kids

Multitrack demos from 1979

Included at this point since it owes its very survival to Otway who later recorded Door to Door Daughter & Travelling Show. This collection of 1979 demos remains, effectively, Ollie's only solo effort and an intensely satisfying album

Authorised limited re-release 2007

Market Square

£7.99 plus postage and packing

Bu the Caves CD NOW!

The Caves story


Rusty Strings

Rusty Strings

Single 1974:
Can't Help Lovin' That Man of Mine
b/w Medium Twist

Platters' Medley
Unreleased

Perhaps the most bizarre artefact of Ollie's entire career, these multi-track instrumental recordings were made in early 1973, around the time of Patto's final, unreleased album  Monkey's Bum.

Ollie had experimented with the layered speeded- up guitar tracks on the song  I Need You  [from the aforementioned album] and had also used the technique with devastating effect on  Singing The Blues on Reds  from  Roll 'em, Smoke 'em . . .  However, the 'Rusty Strings' tracks are a world away from such masterpieces.

Quite why he chose to do them is a mystery. Apparently, he planned a whole album under the pseudonym and there are reports of other tracks, such as covers of Elvis Presley classics either completed or in the pipeline.

Equally unaccountable is why anyone would want to release them, but RCA did just that in early 1974 with a single coupling the Jerome Kern tune with a Halsall original [which does have some redeeming features].

'Admiral' John Halsey describes these efforts as "Horrible".

We are still waiting for a chart entry ;o)

Many thanks to 'Rutling' Ken Thornton of the Patto  Fan Site for finding and reseraching these recordings.


Ollie and The Blue Traffs
1972
(unreleased)
The Russian Medical Fan Dance
Peter Abraham." Then there’s "
And He Summoned Up The Tidal Wave
Number Three [instrumental]

With Max Von Shmacks [violin]
Gary Windo [sopranino saxophone]
Harry Miller [bass]
John Halsey [percussion]

Robert Fripp [producer]

"Max Von Schmax was a total nutcase. I knew him well and avoided him as much as possible, He was classically trained - his father was in the LSO as a viola player and played on many of my sessions. I'm pretty sure his name was Berman. He would headbutt a telephone box on command (usually of Ollie!) He committed suicide (hardly surprisingly!)" - John Altman

Ollie and The Blue Traffs

The Blue Traff guitar

Morgan Fisher
Tiswas

Miniatures 1980

Miniatures album cover - Morgan Fisher Neverless album cover - Morgan Fisher

Bum Love

Ollie & John Halsey's brief contribution to one of the strangest albums of all time, compiled by Morgan Fisher, former Love Affair and Mott The Hoople keyboardist. Morgan played on Otway's Where Did I Go Right album and tour [with Ollie & John Halsey] and now lives in Japan, producing some fascinating work. Check here

Morgan Fisher

Miniatures - The Blog

. . . presents
The Four Bucketeers
1981
Tiswas Theme

Kids's TV show music with John Gorman.

Musicians include not only Morgan Fisher [keyboards] and John Halsey [drums] - essentially Otway's touring band - but also bassist Clive Griffiths, making it, perversely, the nearest thing to a Patto reunion!

This album is also listed on the Play the Perfect Fool page partly because of the above connections, but more as an excuse to show another photo of the lovely Sally James!

I Did it Otway

> y Viva Espana

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