St. Louis Union
St. Louis Union were a 1960s, short-lived, freakbeat rock band from Manchester, England, who formed part of the mod rock scene. They were formed by singer Tony Cassidy, guitarist Keith Millar, tenor saxophone/flute player Alex Kirby (left 1965; replaced by Lenni Zaksen and Bernie Brown), keyboardist David Tomlinson, bassist John Nichols and drummer Dave Webb.
They formed initially as The Satanists and then, after they changed their name, they won a Melody Maker beat contest in 1965, leaving a fledgling The Pink Floyd (later known simply as Pink Floyd) in a lower placing, and obtaining a recording contract with Decca Records. St. Louis Union then recorded and released their debut single "Girl" (a cover of The Beatles' song), which was a success in the UK Singles Chart, where it reached #11 in February 1966. The single also had an American release. The band were popular in the Manchester area.
However, after "Girl", there were no more hits, despite singles such as "Behind The Door" and "East Side Story" being released. St. Louis Union appeared in the 1966 feature film, The Ghost Goes Gear, starring the Spencer Davis Group, in which St. Louis Union mimed to their versions of "I Got My Pride" and "Show Me Your English Teeth". The band split up in 1967.
Guitarist Keith Millar (born 15 April 1947, Manchester) subsequently joined the Rod Steward's band, but died on 17 May 2005. David Tomlinson had a role in the subsequent New Wave scene, under the stage name of Dave Formula, as a member of Magazine, Visage, Ludus and Luxuria, and working with Howard Devoto and Tuxedomoon's Winston Tong. Bassist John Nichols has since developed a career as a portrait photographer and won the Heist Award. Bernie Brown continues to play Saxophone in Spain and the Costa Del Sol with cover bands.
All released in 1966 on Decca Records:
- "Girl" (b/w "Respect")
- "Behind The Door" (b/w "English Tea") released 22 April 1966
- "East Side Story" (b/w "Think About Me") released 21 October 1966
- Eder, Bruce. Biography of St. Louis Union at Allmusic. Retrieved 11 April 2009.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 479. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Fans magazine, Spain, 19 December 1966. Article by Alvaro Rubio y ya son famosos en toda el área de Manchester (and they are famous in all Manchester area)
- Manchesterbeat.com - page 4