Sunday, 21 November 2010

John 'Acker' Snell

I was really glad to finally speak to John Snell on Friday. He was the sax player and one of the founders of Roger Taylor's group in Cornwall: The Reaction, and he was able to explain lots of things about the history of the band that were not clear.

So, for example, the band used a Bedford van like the one above that was owned by the butcher and concert promoter, Jack Pascoe. This was the van he remembers driving most often, though prior to this they used his parent's Ford Thames. He confirmed that, on their trips to Devon organised by the promoter Lionel Digby, they often slept in the van. Digby himself was a very colourful character, and the first time John met him, he was wearing a cowboy outfit complete with six-guns which he would intermittently fire at the boys!

John saw Smile not in Cornwall but in London at the Albert Hall, and he remembers staying with Roger in his flat in London the night after the gig. He also went on a trip with Smile out of Truro, but only got as far as Playing Place because they had a puncture...Below is a fairly well known picture of him sharing the front of the stage with Graham Hankins at a dance at Truro School. Thanks John.

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