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The Diamonds

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The Diamonds - at The Zodiac Lounge (Caledonian Hall, Kilmore Street, Christchurch) 1964
Wayne Allen (Drums), Phil Money (Vocals), Ray Messervy (Bass), Ted Meares (Rhythm Guitar), Dave Henderson (Lead Guitar)

The Diamonds appeared at The Zodiac Lounge, Friendship House, and The Bay Hall (Timaru).  They recorded two instrumentals on the Robbins label - Ventures In Paradise // Lucille released as RRSP 34.  Diamonds' leader and bass player, Ray Messervy asked Peter Trebilcock to join the group, after vocalist Phil Money and drummer Wayne Allen departed at the end of February 1964 - the time at which the band finished its gig at the Zodiac Lounge.  Thus, now with Ray Messervy on bass, John Pollard on drums, Ted Meares on rhythm guitar, Dave Henderson on lead guitar and Peter Trebilcock on vocals, The Diamonds took advantage of Ray Columbus and the Invaders' departure from Christchurch, which had opened the door for The Diamonds to move to entertain US servicemen at the US Deep Freeze Base, before starting their residency at the all new Safari Lounge in Tuam Street on Saturday June 20th, 1964.  Local newspaper advertising around the opening of The Safari Lounge introduces Peter Nelson as New Zealand's Frank Ifield, and that appears to be the beginning of Peter's use of his mother's maiden name in his stage identity.  Rhythm guitaritst Ted Meares left after about 2-3 months and was replaced by Jimmy Woods, and fairly soon thereafter, John Pollard was replaced by Doug Petrie behind the drum-kit.  Kaye Bassett also came in as a female vocalist.  Jimmy left soon after, and was replaced by new rhythm guitarist Don Clarkson.  After several months at The Safari Lounge, North Island promoters Ian Dawson and Benny Levin offered the group a contract to play in Nelson and Wellington, but Ray Messervy and Dave Henderson decided not to go, as did Kaye Bassett.  The Diamonds' name went along with Ray Messervy when he departed the group with Dave Henderson, and a new line-up then took shape with Peter Nelson, Don Clarkson and Doug Petrie joining up with lead guitarist Len Ormsby and rhythm guitarist Doug Henderson (both of whom were ex The (HiFi) Falcons from Timaru).  Don Clarkson decided to switch to bass - thus was born Peter Nelson and the Castaways - the group which continued on for a short while at The Safari Lounge, before leaving Christchurch for the brighter lights of Wellington..

 
 

The 2nd iteration of The Diamonds on Peter's A40 Farina
(From top) Ted Meares, Ray Messervy, Dave Henderson,
Peter Trebilcock and John Pollard


The Diamonds at The Safari Lounge - circa 1964
Ray Messervy, Doug Petrie, Dave Henderson,
Jimmy Woods and Peter Trebilcock (bottom right)


The Diamonds at The Safari Lounge
Pic taken circa 1964
Ray Messervy, Jimmy Woods and Dave Henderson

 


The Diamonds - 1964
Poster supporting the opening of The Safari Lounge
Tuam Street, Christchurch

       

(LEFT)  The Diamonds at The Safari Lounge, Christchurch
Ray Messervy, Doug Petrie, Kaye Bassett, Jimmy Woods and Dave Henderson

(RIGHT)  The last iteration of The Diamonds at The Safari Lounge, Christchurch
Ray Messervy, Don Clarkson, Doug Petrie, Dave Henderson, Kaye Bassett, and Peter Trebilcock