The Smoke

The Smoke was an English pop group from York. They consisted of Mick Rowley (lead vocals) (born Michael Rowley, 29 June 1946, Scarborough, Yorkshire), Mal Luker (lead guitar) (born Malcom Luker, 3 March 1946, New Delhi, India), John "Zeke" Lund (bass) (born John Raine Lund, 13 November 1945, York, Yorkshire) and Geoff Gill (drums and compositor) (born Geoffrey Robert Gill, 15 May 1949, York).

The Smoke
Background information
OriginYork, England
Years active1965 (1965)–1976 (1976)
Associated actsThe Shots
Past members
  • Mick Rowley
  • Mal Luker
  • John "Zeke" Lund
  • Geoff Gill

The band originally performed around Yorkshire as "The Moonshots", changing their name to "The Shots" when they moved to London.[1] There were two bands playing R & B and other cover versions, one was called Tony Adams and the Viceroys, who included John 'Zeke' Lund on bass; Mal Luker on guitar and Geoff Gill on drums. The other band was The Moonshots, who included Mick Rowley on lead vocals and Phil Peacock on guitar. The band then came together as The Shots and made a single for Columbia - "Keep A Hold Of What You've Got" which flopped. At some point Peacock left the band, who then changed their name to The Smoke.[1]

The Smoke's biggest hit was "My Friend Jack" (German Chart: No. 2, UK Singles Chart: No. 45); the BBC banned airplay of the song over its alleged drug references.[2] Later singles released under the band name often had variations on the remaining trio of Lund, Luker and Gill, performing along with session musicians to pad out the sound. All failed to sell in any numbers.[1]

Guitarist Lund later became a sound engineer for Boney M., who recorded a cover version of "My Friend Jack".[3]




as The Shots
  • 1965: "Keep A Hold Of What You've Got" / "She's A Liar" (UK)
  • 1965: "There She Goes" / "Walk Right Out The Door" (UK)
as The Smoke
  • 1967: "My Friend Jack" / "We Can Take It" (D)
  • 1967: "High In A Room" / "If The Weather's Sunny" (D)
  • 1967: "If The Weather's Sunny" / "I Would If I Could, But I Can't" (UK)
  • 1967: "Victor Henry's Cool Book" / "Have Some More Tea" (D)
  • 1967: "It Could Be Wonderful" / "Have Some More Tea" (UK)
  • 1968: "Utterly Simple" / "Sydney Gill" (UK)
  • 1968: "Sydney Gill" / "It Could Be Wonderful" (D)
  • 1971: "Ride, Ride, Ride" / "Guy Fawkes" (UK)
  • 1972: "Sugar Man" / "That's What I Want" (D)
  • 1972: "Jack is Back" / "That's What I Want" (F)
  • 1974: "Shagalagalu" / "Gimme Good Loving" (D)
  • 1974: "My Lullaby" / "Looking High" (UK)
  • 1976: "My Friend Jack" (1976 version) / "Lady" (F)


  1. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1106. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  2. ^ Brown, Phill (2010). Are We Still Rolling?: Studios, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll – One Man's Journey Recording Classic Albums. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-4768-5609-4. Retrieved 5 July 2015.
  3. ^ Davis, Sharon (2012). Every Chart Topper Tells a Story: The Seventies. Random House. p. 293. ISBN 978-1-78057-410-3. Retrieved 5 July 2015.

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