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Where are they now

Kevin Booth - Vocals

Kev sings in a band called Dirtbag and we remain good friends.

Jamie Dickinson - Keyboards

Trained as an engineer at the BBC, colour-balancing studio cameras and telecine, before moving into graphics and post-production where he quickly progressed to Supervisory Operator. Jamie ran the Quantel Editbox suite in BBC News and Current Affairs and after a brief spell freelancing at Sky TV and others, moved to take the role of Senior Editor and Colourist at Pogo Films in London, working on promos, ads, feature films, etc.


Having spent six years in USA, teaching colour grading to the likes of HBO and NBC, Jamie's back in England, working on broadcast, indie films and training for Blackmagic Design.

Dick Havard - Guitar & Backing Vocals

Last news of Dick was that he was living in Indonesia running an English school.

Dale Davis - Bass (1st incarnation)

Dale went on to have a successful career as a bass player working with everyone from Tina Turner, to Amy Winehouse. We remain firm friends to this day

Neil Pratt - Bass (2nd incarnation)

Neil's whereabouts is unknown. I hope he's not playing in a pub-rock band.

Mark Urwin - Vocals (Touch The Earth)

Mark had a stint playing with Hothouse Flowers at some point in the 90s and a quick scan of Linked-In reveals he's now Dr Mark Urwin, Dean of Learning, Teaching & Research and Head of the Postgraduate School at BIMM Institute Brighton.

Dave Spiers - Drums & Keyboards

If you're reading this, you probably know what I do.

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Early Terminal 37
Dale at Live Aid - Reading
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Dave, Dick & Kev
Terminal 37
Terminal 37
Terminal 37 Balcony
Terminal 37
Terminal 37
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Dave Spiers Simmons Drums
Roundhouse Master Tapes

Terminal 37 - Another Local Band Story.

It's the early 80s and after a period of time playing in a few funk & soul bands and hanging out on the periphery of musical scenes with the likes of John Martyn & Phil Collins, I looked to my home town with the idea of forming a modern band and then using my 'connections' to 'get a deal'.

I sniffed around various local music haunts, asking "Who's the best bass player, guitarist etc?" and was pointed in the direction of several musicians who I checked out and persuaded to jam together with a view to forming a band.


Originally called Touch The Earth. our band included Dale Davis (Bass), Jamie Dickinson (Keys), Dick Havard (Guitars) and Mark Urwin (Vocals). Dick, Mark and me had actually been at school together. Jamie was a couple of years younger. And Dale was the true youngster of the band. IIRC he was 16 and I'd have to pick him up from his parent's and drop him off again after rehearsals.

Dick and me were into quite a lot of the same music; everything from Missing Persons & TFF to Pat Metheny and The Comsat Angels. We'd devour albums trying to work out how they did this and that, and then jam around our theories about how they'd got a particular sound etc. Dick and me probably bonded more over music we both disliked though. For example, we both hated Van Morrison and anyone who played Astral Weeks was considered to be a twat.

Jamie was into Rush, Van Halen and was both a competent player and a really nice guy to hang out with. He was probably the most sensible out of all of us and he was ultra reliable too. With the JX-3P's sequencer he'd program patterns for the next song in between tracks during gigs and he never made a singe error in the entire time we played live. That alone is worthy of praise - I know I occasionally fucked up with the wrong Simmons patch more than once. 

Mark was also a thoughtful person & totally dedicated to his music. II think he had at least two other bands on the go and there was no doubting his enthusiasm. He wrote interesting songs too. The only issue for me was his voice wasn't what I was after and his image was a bit too bloody hippy... and he liked Van Morrison. He was also trying to get a PA business off the ground and it's fair to say that his early equipment was purchased on a budget of nil and sounded grim. I'd always insisted that we use a decent PA for all our gigs but somehow Mark ended up arranging for his to be used at one.

"If it feeds back, you're sacked" I remember saying with a 50/50 mix of arrogance and irritation.

Needless to say, it did... and he was gone. 

As an aside, talking to Dale years later, he said that we lost a decent & prolific songwriter that day.


Mark was replaced by Kevin Booth on vocals and the band changed its name to Terminal 37 (lifted from a Captain Scarlet episode). I'd met Kev years before and tried to recruit him for a funk band I was in. Sadly, at that time he was too young and too shy, but in the intervening years he'd appeared in a lot of theatre productions and as a consequence he could sing well, he could confidently hold an audience, and he looked good.

This line-up remains my favourite partly because it felt like a proper band. We were fairly polished from-the-off and Kev was a dynamic front man who knew no bounds when it come to being entertaining and amusing. We quickly found that audiences warmed to bands that didn't appear to take themselves too seriously... at least to outward appearances. Behind the scenes we were very serious though, not least about our gear.

Jamie had a DX-9 and IIRC a Juno 6 which was later replaced by a JX-3P. Dale had a fretless bass (obligatory in the 80s), plus the compulsory Fender, Dick had an Ibanez guitar, a bunch of Boss pedals and a decent Session amp. And I invested in a Simmons SDS-V and decent amplification. The Simmons made a big difference to us sounding pro on the local circuit because taming an unmic'd acoustic kit sounded crap by comparison to a well balanced electronic drum kit mix. In fact, after our initial gig, various members from other rival bands said "You sounded so professional". That was a smug day.

We played a fair few gigs and developed a faithful following while honing our chops and getting more songs together. Dick seemed to become the main songwriter and was always ready to take anything on. I remember him saying he wanted to be a songwriter, then a short while later, a composer. Then an arranger. In Dale's eyes though, he was a guitarist with a penchant for too many extended guitar solos. 


When the time was right we booked into what was to become our favourite studio in Rotherhithe and recorded our first proper demo tape over the course of a weekend. As expected, the weekend was a laugh from start to finish and we walked away with three tracks: Shadows In The Dark. Politician and Working To Play.

After touting our tape around we got the usual rejections, including a brilliant EMI one which simply said "Thanks, but we already have one Duran Duran." However, there was also some fairly serious interest from Warners. The then MD, Robin Godfrey-Cass, lived reasonably local to us, he thought we had a decent image, a good set of songs and he wanted to hear us rehearse before arranging a showcase. Sadly, having just left college, Dale decided to go Inter-Railing around Europe just before our big meeting, and as a consequence everything was put on hold. Dick and Dale's relationship had already become strained and I remember thinking "if Dick goes, so does half the songs" whereas Dale was so young it seemed daft to try and tie him down. 


Dale was a superb bassist though and I knew finding a suitable replacement was always going to be nigh impossible, particularly as he and I just 'clicked' as a rhythm section - something we would do again years later.


We auditioned a few people and initially recruited someone whose name escapes me all these years later. He rode a BMW motorcycle, he was nice enough, and he sounded fine in a rehearsal situation. However, once we got into the studio, his lack of ability was very evident, with the engineer pointing out "He can't play the same note in the same way twice" and recommended that we play keyboard bass instead. He did the decent thing, left the studio and we never saw him again. That recording session spawned Mirror Image, So Near Yet So Far and It's Our World.


A replacement was found not too long after. Neil Pratt lived reasonably locally, was a nice enough chap and a competent player, but he wasn't in Dale's league. As a consequence he and I never gelled as a rhythm section in the way I really wanted. He was basically a pub-rock bassist who wore a pork pie hat on stage, and in my youthful arrogance I despised pub rock and was desperate for us to avoid it at all costs. However, he was committed, rarely missed a rehearsal or a gig and was actually pro-active in terms of seeking out the latter - although playing in a pizza restaurant in Slough with a wannabe Howard Jones and his lookalike bondage-boy dancer ranks as more a cautionary tale than a career highlight. 


Humour got us through those kind of events. Indeed, we had a predilection for piss-taking on an industrial scale so it'll come as no surprise that Neil's nickname was 'Captain Prat'. He wasn't alone either. Jamie's was Getcha (as in 'getcha dick in son') and Dick's was 'hippy'. I suspect mine was a four letter word beginning with 'c' but I never heard it said to my face.


I didn't treat Neil particularly well, something that came to the fore when we signed a management deal and, unbeknown any of the band, he submitted us for a battle of the bands contest, something I've always cringed at. I only discovered this after our demo tape had secured us a place in the final, which was held at the British Music Fair. Bizarrely, synth aficionado and journalist Mark Jenkins had organised the event via Melody Maker. Mark was someone I'd regularly encounter years later in the Keyfax Book days. Furthermore, one judge was Dave Caulfield, who at that time headed up Akai UK but who later became a rep for me and Chris with GForce, before then becoming MD at Martin Lighting. "It's not a job change - more an entire life change" He told us as he drove off towards his golden pension plan.

More bizarrely, we won!


Resplendent in our newly acquired Kings Road attire, we played our hearts out in front of our biggest audience to-date, and won!  I had hugely mixed feelings about our victory though, to the point where I've rarely told anyone about it since.   think my favourite moments were getting a peck from my now wife who was in the audience, and then my Dad saying "There's your 15 minutes of fame, m'lad". It was also nice for my girlfriend to be part of a fleetingly successful moment. Like most musician's girlfriends she'd helped carry gear for years. allowed the band into our little apartment come hell or high water, put up with the constant obsession of everything musical and remained encouraging and supportive. The plight of a musician's moll is often overlooked and had it not been for mine I wouldn't have 90% of the pictures from that era. If you ever read this "Thank you."

As 'winners' (how very 80s) we got some decent swag including an Akai S612 Sampler and the entire Quick Disc library. We also got a lot of radio & press exposure, a video of the BMF performance with all the hilarity and absurdity of 80s digital effects on a budget. Plus a week recording in The Roundhouse studios with producer Gerry Bron (owner of Bronze Records). Gerry's idea was to do a full-on production of It's Our World for our first single, due to be released by Creole Records. Creole (a spin-off of Trojan Records) had secured a recent No1 hit with Boris Gardner's I Want to Wake Up With You, and in their words "We need a pop band to follow up on Boris' success"


The Roundhouse experience was luxurious and we even had our own runner. "James, get me some fags/fruit/chocolate, will ya?" And he'd immediately oblige. It was also a lesson in things quickly slipping from our control. Granted, we loved being in a £2k+ a day, fully fledged 24-track studio resplendent with SSL desk, all the effects we could point our cameras at, and huge live and control rooms, but in my opinion none of the recordings captured the vibe of previous sessions at Silent Studios in Rotherhithe. I'm no luddite, but 80s digital just sounded cold and soulless to me.


To put things into perspective Rotherhithe was a desolate wasteland at that time, with squats galore and graffiti declaring "LDDC OUT" and "NO SMACK" on anything that couldn't be destroyed or nicked. We'd stay in the flat of a medical student friend at the poshest end of Rotherhithe Street and in the morning drive through Armageddon to the really shitty end of the same road where the studio was tucked away inside the optimistically named Trinity Business Centre. While it was a 24-track facility, it had a basic no-frills analogue desk and tape machine, plus an obligatory AMS and a rough and ready attitude which I think brought out the best in us. We also had a lot of fun in The Mayflower pub and crashing parties of early Docklands yuppies.

As an aside, because of the desolation, this area was where the TV companies used to film car chases and it was common for us to leave the flat and then be delayed due to the filming of a Dempsey and Makepeace car chase and shoot out. Nowadays, aside from The Mayflower (which Matt Berry tells me is a luvvie haunt) , the entire place is shiny, modern and expensive; something I never considered possible back then.

By comparison, The Roundhouse vibe and recordings seemed sterile. Gerry liked to incorporate gimmicks into our tracks, such as a wooshing sound when Kev sang "the World keeps on revolving" on It's Our World, I groaned, grimaced and tried to get them to stop. Gerry refused and when it came to mixing, I didn't bother turning up. I heard the finished mixes later and I still have the 1/4 inch copy-master but I don't think I've ever listened to them since.

There were other issues too. It transpired that Kev had left his lyrics in the studio overnight and a while later, a chap who also used the studio during the same period as us (either during the night or day) had a hit called 'One World' which contained lyrics uncomfortably close to "It's Our World'. It was probably just a coincidence but all calls to try and find out if it was more than that were met with a resounding silence and a lot of tutting at my daring to pose such a question.

At the same time our manager became slightly tyrannical. We'd arrive at either a meeting or a venue to be told "She's waltzed in here demanding royal treatment for you lot and upset everyone. Lads, she's not music business. She's showbiz."


On one occasion she told the press "Terminal 37 are the next Beatles" and then called Gerry Bron 'Ben Garry'. The press were annoying enough without giving them any extra ammo and I refused to do any local radio for fear of punching the banal presenters. We'd had enough and it all came to a head at John Henry's in what I still think is a superb story.

I've already explained, we liked a laugh and sometimes we went absurd lengths to get one. For example, one Xmas, Kev had been given an elephant g-string by a girlfriend which, bizarrely, coincided with us using an elephant sample in a live track. As a joke I said "At the next gig, you should wear it and then get it out and hold the mic to it when Jamie plays the elephant sample. It'll be a laugh!"

Never one to bottle-out, Kev did exactly that what I'd suggested, whereupon the first four rows laughed at his elephant g-string trunk roaring away in time with the sample. However, everyone behind those first four rows couldn't see the g-string and thought "Why has that singer just got his cock out?" The record company A&R people, who'd naturally taken up residence at the bar at back of the venue, commented to our manager and left the venue shaking their heads in disbelief.



Our manager scolded us with what were becoming all too regular phrases of "If you're not going to take it seriously I can't work with you" and "I can only fly in good weather." The latter phrase was especially strange as her entire family had died in a light aircraft crash and she'd spent several years recovering in Stoke Mandeville Hospital as a result. That's where she met the owner of the Management company she worked for, and who now managed us. Yes, a certain Mr Savile!


Necrophiles notwithstanding, Kev had a friend working in a West End theatre production who gave him access to the wardrobe department and as a result, he arrived at rehearsals with the most elaborate costumes from a production of Aladdin and a request of. "Don't fuck 'em up boys. They cost five grand each to make"


The plan was that we'd turn up to the photoshoot of our first single wearing these absurdities, our manager would get annoyed, recite her two favourite phrases, and we would reply "Well, the door's over there. See ya."

There were no mirrors in our dressing room at John Henry's and we constantly egged each other on while getting changed. "Yea Dick, you look great. Put some more hair gel on." we sniggered. Neil even had cigarette ash on his face as a designer stubble pretence... although that may have been done by the official make up artist.


We all looked about as ridiculous as was possible when we walked into the studio. The photographer spat his tea out and the resident makeup artist laughed out loud. However, coming from the showbiz world, our manager's eyes lit up and she grinned with glee while saying "My... what a great new image boys. Doctor and The Medics eat your heart out."

Talk about plans backfiring. But despite our protestations that we were "only having a laugh" the photographer, Mathew Vosburgh, said "You're not getting out of it that easily." And made us pose individually and as a band.

I think my favourite bit of the day was when we went to the cafe where we upstaged Mark Almond by a long chalk. We thought it was hilarious. I suspect he thought "Who are these prats?"

I have many friends who were in 80s bands - some very successful ones too. When we talk about the mad 80's attire and hair I'l bring these pics out, partly for a laugh and partly to prove 'I was there'. They take one look, laugh and immediately concede defeat. That alone makes the entire debacle totally worth it!

We still fired our manager and a few days later the semi-expected phone call arrived from Creole Records. "If she's not part of the deal, there is no deal." I tried to convince them we were all better off without her but they weren't having any of it, so I said "Fine. No deal it is!"

And that was it.


I've occasionally wondered what would have happened if we'd have just gone with the flow. Creole seemed like a decent enough bunch but I think our manager would have pissed everyone off to the point where people would have given us the PBS (professional body swerve). I also think our songs were fairly banal and even if we'd had some success, it would have been short lived and not really done us any good. We were very good at excess and the 80s was excess personified. I don't resent our manager though. She had a hard life, punctuated by a terrible tragedy and trauma, and she was just doing what she thought was best. I doubt she's still alive now, but if she is and I ever meet her, I'd be happy to apologise for being 'difficult'.. before bombarding her with questions about 'Mr Fixit'.

The truth is that the band kinda fell apart after that phone call. Jamie went to work for the BBC which started with six months training at their bootcamp in Evesham. Dick had been going out with my sister, something that caused friction between us, and he just wanted to go travelling. Kev was already singing in a function band and while he and I carried on in various guises, the truth is that we'd had our time. Neil?.. I'm not sure what happened to Neil. He knew I'd been I'd been upset over the contest because, in my forthright opinion, no credible band had ever won a talent contest and gone on to achieve anything significant (these were the days before Pop Idol and X Factor). I felt our credibility had been undermined by it and we'd subsequently sold out (for no financial gain) to people who had an agenda that didn't fit the spirit of our band. It was baggage and the only thing to do was end it and move on. 

While Terminal 37 was my baby, I'd occasionally continued to play for with other bands during that time. I'd gigged and recorded with indie bands, funk bands, even rock bands.... but never pub-rock bands!


Towards the end of Terminal 37 I was approached by Zal Cleminson, who lived locally and who'd previously been a member of Alex Harvey and Nazareth, and what I consider to be the greatest 80s band ever, Tandoori Cassette. The latter had got nowhere because Zal and other band members were in their 30s and 'past it' according to 80's record company marketing departments. Again, how very 80s!


Zal had been working with Midge Ure and Elkie Brooks but wanted to stop touring. He told me (quite correctly) "Your band's songs are shite but you're good musicians and you're young and good looking. How about I write your songs and record with you, but never play live?" 


I jumped at it.


Kev, Dale, Zal and me worked towards that end. I have to say that aside from being a top chap, Zal was an amazing guitarist. In the studio he'd sit there all quiet and unassuming but when it was his turn to play, he gave it his all. He looked really menacing but incredibly stylish and it wasn't just me who was in awe. Every engineer's jaw would hit the floor when he started playing, transforming from plain old Alastair to Super-Zal in the process. 

In recent years, I've regularly talked with my friend Karl Hyde about how much of an influence Zal was on both of us. Karl and almost every musician I know who knew Zal's work constantly refer to his great 'tone'. When we played together the Gibson SG had given way to an Aria and a Rockman, so this reference never struck me until I recently discovered his old work with Alex Harvey... something I ignored for decades because I considered it to be 'pub-rock' on steroids.

My idiotic snobbery aside, I was convinced that this line-up had everything going for it and I worked as a programmer in a well equipped studio in exchange for free studio time that would be used to capture the work of this new unit. To that end I worked on some horrendous records alongside some complete assholes but I'd always been into technology and synths, and suddenly made money programming drum machines to sound like a real drummer and hooking synthesisers up to other synths via the magic of MIDI. So I was mortified when Kev and I called at Zal's to wish him a Happy Birthday and schedule a recording date only to hear him say "I'm quitting the biz and moving back to Glasgow to get a proper job". His wife was always telling me "Get out of music, Dave. It's fulla shits." and I suspect she'd been telling him the same for years. He'd been in bands since he left school and I believe he'd been ripped off several times. After making his decision he tried to give me all his guitars and effects etc, saying "it's not a gift it's a curse and I can't have these things around me if I'm to change everything". He had a young son though and taking them felt wrong, so I only took a Rockman.. which was nicked from me soon after.

Thankfully, it wasn't the end of the end for me, as I was also playing in another band called Out To Lunch, which was a project of Dale's and his friend Jonty, Out To Lunch was unashamedly pop at the time when bands like Curiosity Killed The Cat were hot. I still think Jonty modelled himself on Bendy Ben. The Sloane Ranger girlies certainly loved him as much as they did Ben, and during one rehearsal I remember a gaggle of them sat on the stairs drooling over his every word. I swear Dale slipped on the same stairs on his way out.


I'd always enjoyed playing with Dale and it was great to be a rhythm section that gelled via telepathy again - and this time guitar solos were banned from all songs. We did a couple of recording sessions with good results and TBH I think the songs were better than those from Terminal 37.


One Out To Lunch gig we did I still remember as a great night. it was at a reasonably large venue called Washington Heights (or Washing Your Tights) and the line-up included Dick, my old funk guitar friend, Rick (with whom I'd later build the DFA studio), Dale, Dale's brother, Wendon on percussion. Plus Jonty and me. It was ta fun night when all my musical mates (except Kev & Jamie, unfortunately) got together and raised the roof with a great audience. 

It was nice to go out on a high because Dale then moved to London with the aim of becoming a session musician and Out To Lunch was out for the count. 


I worked programming drums and synths for a couple of local studios whenever I could, but I'd kinda lost my way and things were starting to personally unravel. One thing 'normal' people don't realise is that being in a band... and then not being in a band... either because the band folds, or, worse still, because you've been kicked out, isn't good for the soul.


Thankfully my situation was because the bands had simply folded. But if it was the latter, you'd become untouchable, a musical pariah, a contagious leper.. Mercifully that never happened to me, but the paranoia of being kicked out of a band was always real. Years later I had a great conversation with Billy Currie about this. I have to say it's something I'd totally forgotten about in these days of making music or programming in isolation. The fact that even Billy felt this paranoia while in Ultravox was both staggering, reassuring and amusing.

Keep On Moving. Don't stop - like the hands of time.

Whatever the obstacles, some musicians are determined to 'keep on moving' (how very '89) and a year or so later Dale called me from after his London based band's drummer had quit. He insisted that I pick up the sticks again, learn 13 songs in 24 hours and bail the band out at a prestigious gig. Via telepathy, crib sheets and me listening to the tracks all night and all the way to Manchester on the bus, we pulled it off and I remained on a retainer with that band for a while before building the DFA studio with Rick, and then subsequently getting my 'break'.

Since then I've worked with a million artists and musicians, most of whom have fallen out with band members at some time. However, while outsiders look to apportion blame, as outsiders they know little or nothing of band camaraderie. Anyone who's been part of a good band understands the 'us against the world' vibe. Successful or not, when that band ceases to be, memories of those days and all the trials and tribulations are embedded in the psyche. And when you strip away all ego, the essence of those bonds linger. It's all part of a lived and shared experience, and as I write this over 30 years later, many of the people I played with are no longer alive. That puts shit into perspective!


Staggeringly, I am the only surviving member of one band I was briefly a part of in 1981, and I shared a thousand dreams and schemes with one of those departed band mates. I wish I'd shared a beer with him towards the end of his time. I know we'd have laughed about the old days and our wishes versus fulfilment. That's one thing the Covid experience and current world madness has highlighted - the necessity of human interaction, kindness and forgiveness.


That's why anyone I've mentioned in this story and anyone who was a part of this little local band's story (with a couple of notable exceptions) is welcome at my studio. I'd like to believe we'd leave our young, fragile egos at the door and opt to crack open a beer, kick back and have a laugh at a very amusing and entertaining part of our lives.

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