The A-Cads


The A-Cads were the brainchild of Peter Rimmer, manager of the RandAcademy of Music in 1965. The name A-Cads was a compromise combinationof the names "The Academy" (management's preference) and "The Cads"(preferred by the band).

Peter came from Liverpool and backed stars such as Marty Wilde and theTempests before coming to South Africa in 1963. When Peter decided toform the A-Cads he approached Hank Squires (real name: HenrySmitsdorff), formerly a member of Johnny Kongos and the G-Men. RobbieKearney, also a former G-Man, accepted the drumming position. Richard"Dick" Laws, ex-Bill Kimber and the Couriers, was imported fromEngland and joined as lead guitarist. Scotsman Sam Evans was signed upas vocalist, and Les Goode, ex-John E. Sharpe and the Squires, joinedas bass guitarist.

A-Cads in Bloemfontein, 1965

The A-Cads in Bloemfontein, 1965 - photo by Chris McLaren

Guitarists Pete Clifford and Louis McKelvy, also had stintswith the band during 1966. McKelvy replaced Laws as lead guitarist.(Source:History of Contemporary Music of South Africa: Chilvers andJasiukowicz, TOGA 1994).

"I left shortly after the album release (actually after the single'Sha-La-La-La-Lee'). The band was moving in a super-commercialdirection, recording puff pieces like 'Fool, Fool, Fool'. I wasinterested in keeping the heavier sound of 'Hungry for love'. Therewere too many people involved in the band's management – threemanagers, actually:Richard Laws, 1998Peter Rimmer, Gerry Fitzgerald and one other gentleman whose nameescapes me. It felt like no one was interested in the music itself.Producer Derek Hannan was coming up with these songs that he felt werehits (which I suppose was his job). Yet the success of 'Hungry' shouldhave proved that a song doesn't have to have an infantile hookto top the charts, but no one was listening. I introduced the band toJohnny Kidd's 'Hungry for love' when I arrived from England.'Sha-La-La-La-Lee' (a Small Faces track) was a Hannan choice, as was 'Fool, Fool, Fool'(which I had nothing to do with, in or out of the studio)."

"A lot of the stuff we did was just floating around in memory (Chuck Berry,Rufus Thomas, etc.). Old favorites, that sort of thing. But some of itwas producer Derek Hannan playing us things in his office that he thoughtwould be good for us. I never agreed with his choices, but then I had adistinct vision of what the group should be. I always thought it wouldhave been better if Teal had just let us loose in the studio to get on withit ourselves (as we did initially with 'Hungry For Love'). I think the bandwould have lasted a lot longer and surprised a few people."

"If memory serves (and at my age it quite often doesn't), Idon't think Pete Clifford ever became an A-Cad (contrary to whatthe History of Contemporary Music Of South Africa book says--although he would have been my first choice). In fact I'm sure he had already joined the Bats during that time (I remember seeingthem in Durban's Four Seasons Hotel during 1966)."
-- Richard Laws, 1999

[ Home | Biography | Discography | Interview | Family Tree | Contact us ]