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|Genres||Power pop, rock|
|Associated acts||Alternative Radio|
|Past members||Rob Fennah
Formation and early years (1972–77)
Buster was formed in March 1972 on the Wirral, near Liverpool, England. Its original members included Pete Leay (lead guitar), Kevin Roberts (bass guitar) and Les Brians (drums) (Rob Fennah (rhythm guitar) joined a year later). They were originally called 'The New Attraction', and began playing the cabaret circuit in north Wales. The average age of the members was thirteen.
RVC (presently BMG) which was the Japanese division of RCA released "Sunday" in Japan in January 1977. The single was a Top 10 hit. Four further singles followed and all were Top 20 hits in Japan. At Christmastime in 1977, the band toured Japan, the Philippines, Australia and Germany.
In Australia the band performed as part of the Festival of Sydney in 1977, on the steps of the Sydney Opera House.
Returning to Britain and Alternative Radio (1978–82)
In January 1978, the band arrived back in the UK. They had achieved five hit singles and three best selling albums overseas and expectations were high, but Buster's teenage image was outdated, and RCA and the band parted the company in 1979.
Their new manager suggested they changed their name to 'The Jax'. In 1980, on a small independent record label, they released one single under this name with a cover version of "Bits and Pieces", which was originally recorded by The Dave Clark Five. The single did not make any impression, and the band split from the manager and re-grouped.
Rob Fennah had started to write songs with his younger brother, Alan, and they got a local pirate radio station, Merseyland Alternative Radio (MAR), to play some of their demos. The twosome also played in local pubs and clubs as the duo Rob and Alan Fennah. Pete Leay left the band to concentrate on studio recording.
During 1981, Buster's three original members Fennah, Brians and Roberts became Alternative Radio. In 1982, they decided to enter the Liverpool 'Battle of the Bands' competition, which they won. However, with only two of its original members left, Buster was officially disbanded in October 1982.
Recent years (2008–present)
When footage of the band turned up on the internet, there was interest in the group and demand for the re-release of old recordings. They were able to buy back the rights to the recordings, and Buster's records were produced again for the Japanese market. They also showed some of their early footage on their website.
Fennah, Leay, and Roberts were invited to the Liverpool Museum at the opening of The Beat Goes On, an exhibition of Liverpool popular music and culture. Buster are featured in the "Global Impact" section of the exhibition, in recognition of the band's success in Japan.
Pete Leay died on 26 December 2013 at home on the Wirral.
Les Smith died on 11 November 2016 in Germany.
- Rob Fennah - vocals, rhythm guitar
- Pete Leay - lead guitar, vocals
- Kevin Roberts - bass, vocals
- Les Smith - drums, vocals
- Buster (UK & Japan) 1977
- Buster 2 (Japan) 1977
- Buster Live (Japan) 1977
- Diary: Best Collection (Japan) 1978
- Best & New (Japan) 2014
- "Sunday" / "Salt Lake City - Silver Gun" (UK) RCA 1976 – #46 (UK)
- "Beautiful Child" / "Daybreak" (UK) RCA 1976
- "Sunday" / "Daybreak" (Japan) RCA 1977
- "Love Rules OK" / "Who Told You" (Japan) 1977
- "Dance with Me" / "Salt Lake City - Silver Gun" (Japan) 1977
- "Beautiful Child" / "But If It Happens" (Japan) RCA 1977
- "She Ain't My Baby" / "Certain Kind of Feeling" (Japan) 1978
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 87. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Key, Philip (23 July 2008). "Music: Brothers tune in for a rare performance". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
- Craig Manning (2014-01-28). "UPATED: British Embassy list shows Wirral band was big in Japan". Wirralglobe.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-04-04.
- Murphy, Liam (30 January 2008). "Buster fans from Far East and US pay homage to Seventies band sensation". Liverpool Daily Post. Retrieved 22 May 2010.