Nobby

Interview with Nobby

John “Nobby” Dalton

Bass, vocals

In 1959 Nobby joined Danny King and The Bluejacks as bass guitarist. He played alongside Norman Mitham who had just left Cliff Richard's first band, recording Say Mama and Vince Taylor's rockabilly Brand New Cadillac" In 1962 John left to become a founder member of Mark Four along with Mick 'Spud' Thompson , Eddie Phillips, Jack Jones and Kenny Pickett. Mark Four quickly became one of the most popular live bands in North London and shared billing with other London based groups such as The High Numbers (later to become The Who), Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, and even sharing a stage with Little Eva.

In June 1966, John was asked to substitute for The Kinks' bass guitarist, Pete Quaife, who had broken his leg in a car accident. Dalton auditioned as a temporary replacement on 9 June 1966. That same evening he appeared with the band on BBC Television's pop music flagship, Top of the Pops. His first live appearance with the Kinks was two days later at The Plaza, King's Heath, Birmingham giving him no time for rehearsals. This was quickly followed by a tour to Norway and Spain. The first recording sessions he took part in with the Kinks were on 26 June 1966 at Pye Studios, London for Little Miss Queen Of Darkness.

John also played bass on Dead End Street. By the end of the year Pete Quaife had come back, and Nobby returned to his job as a coalman.

He replaced Pete Quaife again in 1969, this time as the Kinks' permanent bassist. His first recording session in his second tenure with the group was in May 1969 at Pye Studio #2 (Drivin’ and Mindless Child Of Motherhood). Nobby spent most of June recording the Arthur album. He started his first American Tour on 17 October at The Fillmore East, New York. The tour lasted nine weeks and included such venues as The Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles and Fillmore West in San Francisco. He continued to play with the Kinks throughout the remainder of 1969 and into the 1970s and appeared playing bass on such notable songs as Victoria, Lola, Apeman, Celluloid Heroes, and Supersonic Rocketship. John also sang lead vocals on Willesden Green from the soundtrack of the movie Percy.

John left the Kinks in 1976. In the mid 1990s, he founded the Kast Off Kinks, with Mick Avory, John Gosling and Dave Clark and continued with them, as bassist and frontman until retiring in 2008. From 2003 until 2008, Nobby also played with the rock and roll band 5% Volume, alongside Kevin Leak, Wol Webster and Tony 'Bones' Pallett.

John was persuaded out of retirement to cover when Jim became regularly unavailable.

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