Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Fabulous Fabs

Apparently one of the rarest and most sought after beat albums of the 1960s is The Fabulous Fabs by south Wales girl group, The Fabs (see pic). Why is this piece of vinyl so difficult to get hold of? Because it was only ever released in, of all places, Mexico.

So who exactly were The Fabs? They were Marilyn Johnston (guitar) from Cardiff; Maria Kitson (rhythm guitar) from Newport; Linda Mazey (drums) from Barry; and Margaret Lewis (bass guitar) from Trethomas.

They formed in 1962 and from 1965 spent a lot of time in Germany touring American service clubs. Whilst in Germany they managed to land a £5,000 film and recording contract. By all accounts they were set to appear in a flick called Skol, Mr Playboy and release a single, Don't Go. Whether these projects came to fruition or not, I have no idea.

After their sojourn in Germany they toured many other countries including Holland, Austria, Spain and Portugal. In 1968/69 they wound up in Mexico City, where they completed a year long residency at the El Senorial nightclub. One evening at the club they met Steve McQueen who invited them for breakfast the following day. They watched the Hollywood star eat a huge meal while, awestruck, they quietly sipped cups of coffee.

Also in Mexico City they cut The Fabulous Fabs which is mostly just a collection of cover versions with only a couple of original tracks. After a year in Mexico they returned to Wales and at some point changed their name to the Jonson Sisters. Unfortunately the group broke up in 1972 when Maggie Lewis (bass guitar) had a nervous breakdown and ended up in hospital.

If you happen to have a copy of The Fabulous Fabs hang on to it - it's probably worth a few quid.