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.
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.