The Nervous Fellas
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One of Canada's Rockabilly bands, The Nervous Fellas began in Vancouver, British Columbia around the winter of 1986. The band took its name from the lyrics of a Smiley Lewis song titled "Real Gone Lover". Their set list comprised obscure covers from the 1950s and their own original songs.
The original lineup with Butch Murphy on vocals, Ronnie Hayward on bass, Chris Colt on guitar and Al Black on drums played mostly in Vancouver and were known for their stage show and fast-paced rockabilly. That lineup changed and by 1988 the band was Butch Murphy on vocals, Mark (Weldon) Twang on guitar, Ronnie Hayward on bass and John (Hansen)Decan on drums. That lineup started to take off when they signed a management deal with one of the top West Coast music agencies 'S.L. Feldman & Associates' and started to tour Canadian nightclubs and universities.
Ronnie Hayward was later replaced by Pete Turland in the summer of 1989. Pete Turland had been in The Baskervilles along with Darrel Higham when he lived in London,England. They were one of the most exciting bands of their day. Turland was also the bassist in England's country swing/rockabilly band Rusti Steel And The Tin Tax.
'Wild Wild baby' is a fantastic slab of rockabilly. 'Wild Wild Baby' was first released on "The Other Side Of Rock N Roll" and then released on 'Boppin' In Canada': a 1991 compilation of Canadian rockabilly on UK's Nervous Records.
The Nervous Fellas first self-titled release "The Other Side Of Rock N Roll" was produced by Jimmy Roy from the Ray Condo band. It was recorded in Jimmy Roy's living room.
Their second studio recording 'Born To Be Wild' was released on Nervous Records in 1990. They often played at "The Railway Club" ( http://www.therailwayclub.com/ ) in Vancouver, where the idea of the band was formed. By the release of 'Born To Be Wild', the band had a following and were billed as "Canada's Rockabilly Madmen".
They play rockabilly and blues that are raw, biting, and aggressive— Tom Harrison, The Province Newspaper Tuesday June 28, 1988
While the band had a strong showing on the college radio charts, they were unable to break into mainstream radio play.
Many personnel changes happened during the Nervous Fellas' short 5 year life. Chris Colt left in late 1987 to be replaced by Mark Twang. Al Black left in the fall of 1988 to play full-time in the Last Wild Sons. Butch Murphy was also in the Last Wild Sons. Al Black was replaced by John Decan on drums in 1988. Billy Rogers became the drummer in late 1990.
Billy Rogers ( http://urotsukidojispad.com/rogers.html )had tasted some success with such bands as Johnny Thunders and the Ramones. Billy Rogers died from complications due to pneumonia, at his home in Toronto, on Tuesday, August 7, 2001.
Ronnie Hayward left in 1989 and was later replaced by Pete Turland. Pete, originally from England, had been in The Baskervilles along with Darrel Higham. The only original member to stay to the end, which was in the beginning of 1992, was singer Butch Murphy. Butch and Ronnie later teamed up to start the Bughouse 5.
Recent postings of the band on YouTube have piqued the interest of rockabilly fans.
Reunion Show : Nervous Fellas (featuring the original members), Swank, The Deadcats @ Rickshaw Theatre June 20, 2009. At the reunion show, a CD release was made available for the first time, which contained lost recordings from 1987.
Ronnie Hayward is currently playing with "The Ronnie Hayward Trio" in Toronto. A film is currently being made about his life.
Chris Colt has a local band in Vancouver called Chris Colt and the 45's.
Pete Turland lives in Alberta and has released several original recordings.
The Nervous Fellas name was also used by a band in UK after the original band broke up but does not have any of the Canadian members.
- The Nervous Fellas - Born to be Wild - Released in 1990 http://www.nervous.co.uk/nervousfellas.html
- The Nervous Fellas - Raw & Biting - Lost recording from 1987 - Released in 2009
- The Nervous Fellas - Live at the Rickshaw - Released in 2010
- The Nervous Fellas - The Other Side of Rock & Roll - Released in 1987 - very rare tape release
- Georgia Straight November 30–December 7, 1990 by Norah Holtby
- The West Ender November 30, 1989 by Mike Usinger
- The Winnipeg Sun January 20, 1989
- The Province by Tom Harrison Tuesday June 28, 1988
- The Vancouver Sun by Michael Groberman April 16, 1988
- Nites Moves May 1989
- The Calgary Herald, Nitebeat September 13, 1988
- Music '91 Labatts Canada Live February 24-march 5, 1991
- Vox Magazine December 1990 by Hector Litorco
*Official site -