Faron's Flamingos
"Now That I Can Dance"
by Peter R. McCormack

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"The Panda Footed Prince Of The Prance"
Nicky Crouch, Trevor Morais, Faron Ruffley, Paddy Chambers
Photo 1963 Faron Ruffley

The Prince Of Prance Asks - "Do You Love Me?"

One of the leaders in the Liverpool music scene in the 1960s was Faron's Flamingos. This high energy group was comprised of Faron Ruffley - vocals and bass guitar, Nicky Crouch - lead guitar, Paddy Chambers - rhythm guitar and Trevor Morais - drums.

Faron, taken from an Indian Cherokee name from the Ruffley family's past, took up bass guitar after the original bass player (Eric London) didn't want to go to Hamburg, Germany and leave his job behind. As a consequence, Faron took a quick lesson from Billy Kinsley of the Merseybeats on the art of bass playing. Faron was well known for his "off the scale" enthusiasm on stage which won him the distinguished title as "The Panda Footed Prince of Prance" bestowed upon him by the legendary Cavern announcer, Bob Wooler. Many may not realize that Bob Wooler also referred to Faron as Mr. Fabulous and, in fact, was responsible for coming up with the name Faron's Flamingos in the first place. Before Wooler's naming, the group was known as Robin and the Ravens. Bob considered that the bird theme should be maintained.

Faron was a member Johnny Tempest and the Tempest Tornados. Following the death of Johnny, Faron became the lead singer and the group changed its name to Faron and the TT's. Faron also did a stint at the Star Club as rhythm guitarist and vocalist with Gerry and the Pacemakers. After the split-up of Faron's Flamingos, Paddy and Faron joined Johnny Hutchinson in the Big Three. Nicky would join the Mojos and Trevor, sometime later, The Peddlers. Faron and the Flamingos played the Easter Sunday "All-Nighter" at the Iron Door on April 1, 1961. In describing the performances on this ground-breaking musicial event Sam Leach mused

"The penultimate band was Farnon and the Flamingos, who gave their customary, highly charged performance. That night, Faron lived up to the title of 'The Prince of Prance', another marvellously appropriate catch phrase from the legendary Bob Wooler."

Faron and the Flamingos had a set list that would send fans "over the top" with classics including, but by no means limited to, "Do You Love Me", "Shake Sherry", "Lets Stomp", and "Talkin' About You." That they were an influential group and chose music with great fan appeal has to be acknowledged by the fact that groups such as Brian Poole and the Temeloes and the Dave Clark Five would subsequently take "Do You Love Me" to considerable success. As the story goes, Brian Poole heard the Flamingos do the number and after supplying Faron with a whiskey asked him to write down the words. Faron's generosity led to Brian's recording of "Do You Love Me" which, as fate would have it, came out first and thereby squashing Faron's version.

The group recorded a number of songs from their stage act including "Do You Love Me"/"See If She Cares" and "Shake Sherry"/"Give Her Time" both on Oriole in 1963. Additional recordings included "Lets Stomp" "So Fine", and: "Talkin Bout You".

Arty Davies, currently the drummer for Faron's Flamingos, hastened to add:

"Many Cavernites believe that Faron's Flamingos were the best group from Liverpool, including The Beatles. The interested music historian is directed to Andy Robert's Story of the Liverpool Scene."

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"Mr. Fabulous"
Mathew Street Festival 2002
Photo 2002 Faron Ruffley

March 27, 2001 - October 15, 2008
2001-2008 Peter McCormack. All rights reserved.

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