Before joining The Fabulous Poodles, frontman Tony de Meur (he of the red-rimmed spectacles) worked as a solo folk/bluesman/comedian under the name of Daddy Stovepipe.
Prior to that, he had unsuccessfully tried to make a living by playing with Engelbert Humperdinck‘s touring band and by working for the British Museum.
Bobby Valentino had been splitting his time between a country & western group, a swing band (that he was finally thrown out of for playing a one-note violin solo on Sweet Georgia Brown) and a gig playing Hungarian gypsy violin from table to table at a local restaurant.
Bassist Richie Robertson had never played with a group for more than one night when he met de Meur at the dole office, and drummer Bryn Burrows had been thrown out of Howard Werth and The Moonbeams for being “too weird”.
He answered a Poodles advert that read: “Drummer required. Sense of the absurd essential” and they hired him.
After an obligatory stint on the London nightclub circuit (where their act included everything from off-the-wall audience requests to ukelele freakout versions of My Generation – all of which prompted Sounds to proclaim them “the tackiest band in the country”) the Poodles came to the attention of The Who‘s John Entwistle, who produced their self-titled 1977 LP.
Tony de Meur
Vocals, guitar, harmonica
Violin, mandolin, vocals