The Diamonds, Apaches, and Jacobeats

John Rennie began a musical career when he and Bible class mates formed a skiffle group in Portsoy, Scotland. The Diamonds, Apaches, and Jacobeats  is an online exclusive to SCOTBEAT with permission from its author [copyright John Rennie 2009] . In a recent chat, John spoke about how he and life long friend Doug MacLennan worked under candle light creating instruments from a wood working book during a power cut. The next morning, John realized there was blood on his new guitar from a gash to his thumb during the process. The tunes covered and line-up changed along the way though John stayed through the transition before leaving the Jacobeats for health issues.


This booklet is copyright John Rennie and for education purposes only.

from Fit Like, New York? [c.1997]

Notes: If you have access to any audio tapes of bands represented in SCOTBEAT, please contact me online to have digitized.  Page 24: It was reported that the Cameron sisters were developing throat problems from a heavy schedule of performances. However, Lorna told me that she left the band for other regions [see Jacobeats post]. Her sister stayed of for a time and performed with Terry Russell and Graeme Nairn before the New Jacobeats were formed [a new line-up]. Page 21: John Rennie assessment about the possibility of performing on the Ed Sullivan show would have been for the novelty of their Scottish dress, but I believe an American audience would have loved the group based on the comments I’ve heard relating to their sound and performance skills. John related that their appearing on the popular television program became complexed because of a union agreement that meant Mr. Bonici hiring an American band to tour the UK in exchange for their publicity.

Nonetheless, the band had a rigorous schedule of performances in the UK and Germany though sadly they never were recorded on vinyl. I am suprised that promoter Bonici didn’t record them on the Norco Records label though he did record Terry Russell who was part of the Jacobeats with the Cameron sisters.




My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music

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