From The Archives of Mark Twang;
Nervous Fellas Featuring Tom La Velle Rockin’ Piano
The Rockabilly Band the Nervous Fellas playing one night of 3 sold out shows at Vancouver Canada’s the Railway Club in July, 1990.
A hand held video camera therefore the audio’s not great but it captures the night as it was, live and raw with mistakes :)!
However, it is what it is with some great visuals and represents The Nervous Fellas live in a small club in their hometown Vancouver.
In late 1989 into 1990 the Nervous Fellas:
Pete Turland – Psychobilly Slap Bass
Mark Twang – Geetar
John Decan – Skins
Crazy Tom Lavelle – Piano
Butch Murphy – Vocals
About Tom La Velle Rock & Roll Journey:
@Mark Twang I left Canada in Sept. ’91 I was playing with a guitar player as a duo he had a drum machine sequencer so I had to play in perfect tempo & not speed up.
Doing the legion club circuit doing 4 sets. Not much fun but it was work.
Before that worked with an Elvis Impersonator quickly became work, he did all 3 periods & for the ’70’s I had to learn to play a synthesizer.
It was the same show every night.
Both of these acts were a comedown from the Nervous Fellas.
Just b4 I left “Elvis” he needed a bass player & I told him about Pete Turland & so he did join up with him after I left. He needed work.
I didn’t run out of gigs with the duo I ran out of visa extensions they wouldn’t give me anymore & saw my car was packed so I left.
The Nervous Fellas Performing Live featuring Tom La Velle on piano.
Headed to the UK
I stayed at my mother’s house for a month to recharge & then I went to the UK & made contact with Roy Williams of Nervous records & he saw me at a Rock n Roll club & filled me in on the UK rocking scene.
Some guy in a leather jacket overheard our chat & asked me if I was a piano player. He said he knew a band looking for a piano player.
So I hooked up Sonny West & his Rhythm King’s his piano player quit on him.
I did 3 shows one in England, France & Switzerland. I had trouble getting back into the UK from abroad & the UK customs held my passport to assure I would leave in 2 days to get all my stuff.
Sonny West had a tour lined up all over the UK & I told him no I decided not to do the tour knowing the UK customs had my passport. I didn’t want to risk getting caught so I left the UK.
I wanted to be legal & legit.
I returned to the US as a taxi driver & soon I found more to do as a musician til I got an offer to do a showcase at the Hemsby weekender in May ’99.
I went over really well with the English rockabillies & was booked in May 2000 for Hemsby I played 3 times 1st doing my own show & backing up 2 other artists.
This opened doors & I got other gigs on the back of it.
In 2002 a booking agent in Finland set me up a 2 week tour in Sweden & Finland.
2 shows in Sweden & 5 shows in Finland.
I did this with an electric bass player & snare drummer so we slept in the car many nights to save money.
Some of the clubs provided a room to stay in. After it was over going thru Denmark & getting on a ferry boat back into the UK I ran into trouble again.
The other 2 were English so they got on a train but me as a Yank was sent back to Denmark I was stuck there for 3 months.
I missed an important gig at a festival in the UK backing up Wanda Jackson. I had gained a reputation for being unreliable.
My grandma from my dad’s side was Irish & his dad was French that’s why I have a french last name.
With help from my mom I was able to get Irish citizenship in late 2002 so I didn’t need work permits & visas .
It was a lot of trouble to go thru.
LIVED 5 YEARS IN ENGLAND
I last lived in the UK form 2008 to 2013 & I was a very busy musician but I spread myself out way too thin backing up 10 girl singers & a duo with a drummer & playing solo by 2013 I burned out & was falling apart.
So I left the UK & returned to the US to recharge again to get my sanity back.
I didn’t play music for 5 years I was just working several day jobs to save money.
In 2013 this girl came up to me after a show & was following me in the UK rockabilly scene since I first came there in ’99 but she didn’t have the balls to talk to me then.
She’s into Rockabilly like Wanda Jackson & Barbara Pittman & she’s one of the reasons I’ve returned to the UK to resume working with her & try to build up an act & get the numbers together.
MY OWN ALBUM
After I left in 2013 I kept coming back for the next 3 years to do session work & my own album project for this record label in the UK they put out my album in 2014 & released 3 singles on a 45.
During this time I hooked up with the girl singer 3 times. I was going to see her last Friday but I came down with a bad cold & I told her I’d give her a shout when I’m better.
I also wanted to resume the duo I had with a drummer it was mostly instrumental boogies & we were working a lot. Not much money but it was fun.
But right now he’s sick in & out of hospital so I’m waiting for the right time to visit him. I told him boogie woogie is the only doctor & medicine he needs.
So that’s where I’m at now all this uncertainty. i have a feeling something good will happen in time.
I just have to wait & in the meantime The Nervous Fellas are inspiring me. It’s timeless.
What a great rock & roll story by the Fabulous Tom Le Velle and we all know Tom will keep rocking and boogie-ing until the day he dies.
ROCK ON was a pleasure playing along side Nervous Fellas Featuring Tom La Velle.
Hope to jam with you once again down the road apiece 🙂
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