John at the Hanover, Liverpool

Sam at the Hanover, Liverpool

If anybody has any photos of the Nicky Barclay Band or the Sam Mitchell Band or any of John, please could you send them! Most of John's photos have been lost through travel, moves and girlfriends!




John Conroy's story!

In 1979/80 John Conroy left his home town of Liverpool and moved to Putney, London SW15.

John moved into accommodation above ex Rod Stewart and Long John Baldrey blues guitarist Sam Mitchell. Sammy was a seasoned professional who had played on many albums.

Sam heard John practicing every day for hours on end, he used to shout up the stairs “Stop practising and go and gig!!”

Then one day Sam said “Do you want to join my band?” John said “Yes, when do we rehearse?” He said “You can rehearse tonight when you play with the band at the White Lion in Putney Bridge, we've got a gig tonight!”

The band members consisted of
Sam Mitchell - slide and lead guitar - ex Rod Stewart & Long John Baldry
Mickey Waller - drums - ex Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart
Billy Blair - bass - ex Fleetwood Mac
John Conroy - lead guitar

The band played gigs all over sw London
Some of the venues were
The Golden Lion Fulham
The White Lion Putney
The Star and Garter Lower Richmond Rd
The Half Moon Putney Lower Richmond Rd
The Kings Head Fulham Palace Rd
The Grey Hound Fulham Palace Rd Hammersmith

It wasn’t long before Nicky Barclay from the all female USA rock band Fanny was on the scene and was doing gigs with her band the Nicky Barclay band.
Nicky used to come and play keyboards with us in the Sam Mitchell band and sang her lungs out.
Nicky had also worked with names like Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and many more. David Bowie once said that Fanny was the best female rock band he had ever heard.

Nicky asked John to play gigs with her band.
The Nicky Barclay band consisted of
Wilgar Campbell - drums - ex Rory Gallagher
Louis Martin - keyboards - ex Rory Gallagher
Dave Ball - Lead guitar - ex Procul Harem
John Conroy - Lead guitar

Various guitarists were in the band, it all depended on who was available at the time. Jimmy Roche ex Colliseum & Stan from the Soul Band.

The first gig John Conroy did with the Nicky Barclay band was at the Blues club at the Star and Garter, Lower Richmond Road, Putney.

Nicky was telling everyone she had found a new young guitarist from Liverpool who was great very fast but she said would have to buy him brown trousers to hide his nerves

Nicky used to say John was her secret weapon and reminded her of Eric Clapton, the way John played. John did not like Clapton’s playing at the time.
In the audience at that first gig John did with Nicky were great guitar players such as Duck Baker, Tony McGee from the Groundhogs and Jerry Macao Roars bass player, Sam Mitchell and Bert Ranch.

2 minutes before John went on stage to play Nicky told him Jimmy Page and Rory Gallagher were also going to turn up. John just ran to the toilets and vomited with nerves - Nicky came running after him. She thought it was hilarious after the gig and so did John!

John Conroy had various jam sessions over the years and jammed with people like Marianne Faithful and Barry Reynolds, Laurence Archer from Stampede and Phil Colen from Girl who later joined Def Leppard.

Phil and John talked about putting a band together and had jam sessions at Ritz studios in Putney but he joined Def Leppard and sold millions of records with them.



© All written material and photographs coyright of John Conroy 1976

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Sam Mitchell: Resonating
Sam Mitchell Discography

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Refugee Blues
Sam Mitchell/John Conroy

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Nicky Barclay's Band at the Cartoon, Croydon

John Conroy - lead guitar
Peter - bass guitar
Nicky Barclay - vocals

Louis Martin - keyboards
Wilgar Campbell - drums

John would love to get back into contact with Nicky Barclay, Dave Ball and Louis Martin. If you see this or if anybody knows their whereabouts please send an e-mail to John.