Stampede (D Lincoln) 1962 and The Rumble (I Isaacs) 1963 and The Cruel Sea (M Maxfield) 1965 – The Phantoms
The Phantoms were one of the legends of the early 60’s Melbourne rock scene and as all four original members – Dave Lincoln (lead guitar), Gene Taylor (rhythm guitar), Pete Watson (bass) and Alan Fenton (drums) – were expatriate Englishmen, they took their musical cues from such UK bands as the Shadows and the Tornadoes.
Stampede was an original composition by Dave Lincoln, lead guitarist with the Phantoms, and it would become the breakthrough top 30 hit for the band in November 1962. This was the golden era of instrumental hits in Australia, in the period 1961- 63 the annual best-selling singles charts featured such hits as the String- A- Longs (Wheels), the Shadows (The Boys), Bill Justis (Tamoure), the Chantays (Pipeline), Ferrante and Teicher (The Theme from Exodus), and Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra (Wonderland By Night).
Stampede had a suitable western/cowboy theme which reflected the dominance of such shows on TV at the time as Rawhide, Wagon Train, Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Maverick, Gunsmoke, Wyatt Earp and many others.
They followed up in April ’63 with The Rumble (colloquial term for a street fight) but this was not the original Link Wray composition in which Link and his Ray-Men pioneered the fuzz-tone guitar effect by puncturing their amplifiers, so creating the ominous and threatening sounds of a “rumble” (US #16 in ’58).
But rather a different composition by British jazz guitarist Ike Isaacs, which had been originally recorded by the Shadows in 1962, and the Phantoms took their version into the charts in 1963
The Phantoms were adaptable enough to embrace vocal and beat pop and supported the Beatles on their 1964 Australian tour, their cover of the Ventures The Cruel Sea, showcased their instrumental skills, this song had been the B-side to the Ventures smash hit Walk Don’t Run in 1965. It was written by Mike Maxfield, lead guitarist for the Dakotas, Billy Fury’s backing group, and was a top 20 UK hit for them in 1963, as there is no YouTube clip for the Phantoms version of this song, 4TR has included the original recording by the Dakotas.
But two members of the Phantoms – Peter Watson and the recently recruited Mike Brady – were about to move on to create Aussie rock history with Danny Finley as founding members of MPD Ltd.(pictured below) and storm the charts with their reckless beat versions of Little Boy Sad and Lonely Boy.