Wayne Fontana (a.k.a. Glyn Geoffrey Ellis) emerged as the lead singer for Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders with Eric Stewart on guitar, Bob Lang on bass, and Ric Rothwell on drums in about April of 1964.
Beginning as a rhythm ‘n’ blues band they released four unsuccessful singles in a Bo Diddley/Chuck Berry vein. “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um” hit # 2 in the U.K. followed by “Game of Love” (U.K. # 2; U.S. # 1) in 1965.
After a succession of bitter disputes within the group, in October ’65 Wayne decided to leave the band and strike out on his own with me as his manager. His final and most successful single, “Pamela Pamela” was written by Graham Gouldman, and reached #11 in the U.K. in ’67.
By this time Eric Stewart had assumed lead vocals in his Mindbenders and they hit # 2 in the U.S. in May 1966 with “A Groovy Kind Of Love“.
Comments on split of “Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders”:
- Wayne Fontana: “We were always bickering.”
- Ric Rothwell: “Had we had one name like ‘The Hollies’ or ‘The Animals’ I don’t think the split would have arisen.