Bob Wilcock

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    Award presented 2009   Award presented 2008

John R Campbell Collection


Bob Wilcock
Saxophonist with The Vigilantes

Robert John Wilcock was born on September 29th, 1946 in Christchurch.  He tells us in his own words .... "I started playing saxophone (after being a piano accordionist) when I was 13, and joined Larry McKay and Brian Thomas in what was to become The Vigilantes.  The band formed in 1961 and played weddings and 21sts in dance halls, which included a regular but short-lived gig in Timaru (replacing The Downbeats).  We hit the big-time when we became the second band at The Laredo Nitespot (with Johnny Campbell and The Detours, and Les Stott) around 1963.  The band stopped playing at The Laredo Nitespot in 1965, but continued on making records, accompanying The Southerners on such hits as South Wind, as well as making a few records ourselves, most notably Come Tomorrow // The Cruel Sea and And I Love Her // Everybody Come And Clap Your Hands."


"The full line-up for The Vigilantes was: Brian Thomas (lead guitar, band leader and occasional singer), Larry McKay (rhythm guitarist and occasional singer), Dixon McIvor (vocalist), Derek (Willy) Withers (bass guitar and occasional trumpet), Tony Mason (drums), Bob Wilcock (tenor saxophone).  We were resident second band, behind Johnny Campbell and The Detours, at The Laredo Lounge from 1963 to 1965, and we subsequently appeared on The Des Britten Coca Cola Show.  We played with some pretty good musicians and were not too bad ourselves.  The tour to Pohara Beach Motor Camp was an epic. We played lots and lots of dance halls and church halls.  Spencer Street and the reek of Old Spice is a particularly strong memory.  Recording was very demanding and nerve wracking, but yet strangely satisfying."


Additional Bob Wilcock and Vigilantes information can be found on the Johnny Campbell and The Detours website .....


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