The Staccatos

Louis Lawrence wrote:

I wonder if you have information on The Staccatos from 1971 onwards (The lead singer at the time (Steve Lonsdale) left the band in 1971. Do you know who was (or were) the followup lead singer(s). How long did the group then stay active? (or are they still?) Did they realease any more albums?

The Staccatos entry at The SA Rock Encyclopedia


47 thoughts on “The Staccatos

  1. I can offer a little bit of info about the Staccato members I knew in the early 1970s. One of the band members who stayed across the road from me in Malvern, Johannesburg sometime between 1970 and 1976 was Neville but I can’t remember his surname. Their lead singer then was Harold Nicholson (he had a brother called Johnny Nicholson), the drummer was Neville Harbott. The other Neville was a good football player. In fact he, Harold and Neville used to pick me up on Sunday mornings to play for a Sunday League team which they had formed. I used to see the band members quite often. They would practice at the house sometimes.

    They were all a great bunch of guys. Harold was a popular lead singer as he could not only sing well but also had a real pop star look about him. I bumped into Neville Harbott at Bedford Centre in Bedfordview about seven years ago. He had got involved with the horse racing fraternity.

    That’s about it. Hope it is a bit of a help to you.

    • Thanks Carlo.

      I remember The Staccatos playing at a function I attended during my matric year at Boksburg High in 1976. Not the matric farewell, but some other function … junior mayor’s ball, maybe?

    • I got to know Harold Nicholson as a textile agent during my time at Woolworths HO in Cape Town during the 90 ‘s.
      I bumped into Harold about ten years ago who was still living in Cape Town at the time,He has a beautiful voice day and could sing short bursts to the buying teams when visiting .Great guy – very friendly and outgoing.

  2. I gather from the list under that the other Neville is Neville Mann

  3. The booklet that comes with the cd The Best of SA Pop volume 2 (seems like it was released in 1994) says ‘The Staccatos were formed in November 1961. Hailing from Johannesburg, they were South Africa’s longest running group and are still in action with original founder member Brian le Gassick” It then tells how Cry to Me was released prior to the movie Katrina and it was no 1 on the charts for 3 weeks and stayed on the charts for 12 weeks. After the release of the movie, it re-entered the charts and stayed there for 26 weeks – a total of 38 weeks which makes it the longest chart single in SA music history. Also see

  4. Hi Brian, interesting that you’ve established a blog dedicated to info on The Staccatos! I have tried several times in vein to contact Brian Le Gassick as I was once a roadie for the band, 1979 – 1981. My best friend at the time, Colin Tredway had been working with them as a roadie for a year or so prior to that. I recall Harold Nicholson very well, yes he had a great stage presence and although slightly effeminate was a big hit with the girls! He was a great singer and could hit notes most guys couldn’t imagine.

    I’m very poor with names and can only remember first names of the other 3 guys. Stan was on drums and if you’ve ever seen Spinal Tap (the cult movie) Stan is so like Nigel Tufnel, had the same hair and everything! He too was popular with the girls as well as a pretty powerful drummer! On lead guitar was Jimmy, long hair and 70’s drop moustache, an often grumpy scotsman and not too shabby guitarist. Lastly was Glen on bass, again, a solid musician and slightly more clean-cut guy, less like a rocker than the others.

    All the band members had very good day jobs, I often wondered why they did the gigs as they didn’t seem to need the extra money.

    The band did a wide variety of gigs during my time from numerous High School Balls to Miss SA Quest at the Carlton Centre. It was at this gig that I almost destroyed Brians prized Hammond Organ when I flipped the trolly trying to get it out of a lift by myself. This was before the gig where Miss SA had about 1000 guests for a fundraiser in the grand ball room, we were the sole entertainment! A very narrow escape for me as nothing but one light bulb broke. It was at this time I discovered my true strength, the trolly was loaded with the very large organ normally taking one guy at each leg to move, guitars and boxes of electrical gear. After the trolly toppled over I managed to bring it and everything on it back on 4 wheels. Sheer fear as the thought of consequences rushed through me.

    By far the biggest gig though was supporting Chris De Burgh on his ‘Live in SA’ concert at the Colosseum JHB 1979. I recall as an impressionable 16yr old standing in the wings watching Chris de Burgh’s drummer in aw, he was amazing! I notice that Chris de Burgh rereleased the live album in 1997.

    I left SA in Aug 1981 to live in Australia, still here!

    I’ll watch your blog with interest to see what develops. Good luck, hope I’ve been of some help.

    Chris Gray.

  5. Good day,
    Also from South africa and moved to New Zealand in 2008.
    I some advice please…Who was the original singer of- Cry to me?

  6. A classmate of mine after school (1965) joined the Staccatos as a guitarist . His name was Eddie Boyle. I understand that his voice was used in the chorus of ‘Cry to me’ – anyone know of his whereabouts and how long he stayed with the group ?

  7. I was married to original bass guitarist Jimmy Ryan real name Routledge. He died in 2005. Those days was Billy Andrews, singer. Brian le Gassick rhythm guitar, Ian Miller drums, etc

  8. Hi found Brian le Gassick on Face book. Told him you are looking for info.

  9. Hi Chris Gray, you might remember me as the girl who dated Glen for 3 1/2 years. He was much older than me, as i was still in school. It’s been a very long time and would love to know what has happened to him after all these years. I think i attended more matric dances than anyone i know. They even played at my own dance so Glen could be there. Tgheir names were, Jimmy Damambro, Glen Mc Farlane and Stan Katz. the other two were Harold and Brian as has been mentioned.

    We really did have a good time!

  10. Hi, read your comments with interest and have noted that not all members who pluyed for staccato’s over the years have been mentioned. In the early 70’s there was a session drummer who used to help out by the name of peter bradford, also Steve Ashley lead singer who took over from steve lonsdale. both performed with the rest of the band at verwordburg fountains (now centurion with a great big shopping centre just about covering the springs, just the river at the back of it. Peter ( one time drummer for ironhorse and matalic sunn bands , cape town) and steve ashley were last in margate in 2010/2011 as steve still sings and was doing some gigs there, peter helped him getting gigs etc, (Peter and Steve were/are good buddys, goes back many years. Peter stopped playing drums in 1976 due to injuries received to his left arm when he was shot 3 times in it and once in the leg by the then so called freedom fighters in the rhodesian terrorist bush war, in the rhodesian army in July1976) Steve left the south coast 2011 to go do some gigs up in the johberg/pretoria area and as far as I can recall to do a few tom jones tributes as in his later years he looks simuliar to tom jones and sounds a lot like him when performing tom jones songs. Steve ashley a few years ago went on stemmets roadshow of noot vir noot. I have also heard he went overseas to do some gigs buts I cannot confirm that. Peter left SA in may 2011 and is at present touring europe in a campervan and will most probly take up residence in spain at the end of it as spain is dear to his heart)
    As a matter of interest the x drummer for charysma (hit song Mammy blue) has and still does reside in port edward on the south coast of durban, runs his own disco called 19th Level (top of carlton centre, johannesburg ring a bell?) Another singer still doing well and based in margate but performs at Legends, amanzimtoti on the sout coast of durban is Dion Williamson, x lead singer for a band called celebration, all around early 70’s doing gigs at the old ambassador hotel etc in joberg. Celebration band members were all school mates from the suburb of bez (bezuidenhout) valley. Dion has done two cd’s that he sells at his gigs, does quite well. He also does a gig every two weeks at the Lions community service flea market in margate. Very popular! Hope you find the little bits of info interesting

  11. Hi Cass, regarding the current whereabouts of Steve Ashley who took over from Steve Lonsdale as The Staccatos lead singer. He and his wife runs a restaurant in Centurion called Cubata. He sings Friday & Saturday evenings as well as on Sundays. On Fridays there are usually some guest singers as well. I go there regularly – good food and good music. Steve has an amazing voice, his Tom Jones songs will give you goose bumps! The restaurant is in Jean Ave in the shopping centre where the Spur is.

  12. many a friday nite at Ciros Jhb 18cents a pint enjoying Steve Lonsdale who was the lead guitarist with the TOP HAT the year the late 60/s cheers QUIN COWLEY ex BRAKPAN now CAPETOWN

  13. Hi guys,
    The Staccatos was one of those great SA bands that had a number of members through the eras! One or two corrections, however…the singer ‘Cry to Me’ was indeed the very talented Steve Lonsdale who has been residing in England for many years and apparently still singing up a storm!
    In the early to mid 90’s the line-up comprised Steve Ashley (vocals), Brian le Gassick (keyboards, guitar and vocals), Dick Mackridge (drums and vocals), Willy Burger (bass and vocals) and Gordon Broadley (lead guitar and vocals). This line-up incorporated a new and driving repertoire which included hits from Rock icons in the vein of Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf and the like.
    Simply stated…Brian le Gassick IS The Staccatos…not only is he the founder member of this top SA band but also the bone fide owner of the name and quite rightly so! Not many SA musos can boast playing in only one band in some 50 odd years!
    Dick Mackridge (Staccatos drummer early to mid 90’s phase)

    • I was at school here the same time as Staccatos one-time drummer Ian Miller. He is on some album covers. Who knows where he is now?? I heard he went to the US. Another mutual friend in the States now is Alan Smith (last heard of in California, 1980’s). Can anyone help make contact with either??.

  14. Can anyone please let me know what happen to Gary Chaplin who played drums for the Staccatos for a short time. He lived in Discovery and moved to Florida on the West Rand in the 1960’s or there about

    Thank you
    Daphne Freeman

    • Gary is alive and well in Durban, I will try to get you info soon.

      • Hey! Gary Chaplin is my father. He is well!!!!! Glad you guys still google him! He will love that. He is in DBN and married to Lorna Chaplin. My sister’s, Tracey, Debbie, Gina and myself Julie!

      • Hi – funny – today I am listening to some great sixties music and listened to the Staccatos and thought about Gary Chaplin who was a workmate at Barclays bank in 1965. We were both drummers but he was really great and i remember him joining the Staccatos. Please give him my best regards. Best Regards Larry Palk

      • Would love to know more about my cousin Gary Chaplin. Is he and his brother Sidney still alive and how can I get hold of them or indeed their offspring?

  15. Its my dad!!!! He lives in DBN. Mt Edgecombe!!!!!

    • Hi Julie, I was a friend of Cheryl Chaplin (Gary’s first wife?) in the 1960’s. We both went to Roosevelt High School. She had two little blonde daughters named Tracey and Debbie. I lost contact with Cheryl when I moved away from Johannesburg in 1970. Do you have any idea where she is? I would love to have contact with her again. Best regards, Keta (Cheryl new me by the name of Coquette. Keta is my nick-name.)

  16. Does anyone have a memory of the two Steve(i)s Lonsdale and Van Kerken on stage at Ciros doing some awesome but rather drunken duets, and having a ball!Calvin

  17. Hey, still no news about Ian Miller????

  18. The singer replacing him was Steve Ashley. He still sings as we speak. I can bring you in contact with him. E mail at the above address.

  19. Hi i am a good buddy of Steve Ashley who were with the Stacattos in the nineties, He still sings in and around the Pretoria and JHB area. He has a show coming up at the Majestic in Fordsburg on 28 February and the 2nd and 3rd of March 2014. He still does Cry To Me and still does an excellent job of it.
    Anybody who need any info regarding him may leave a message here.

    • Hallo my naam iis Maria Gavin gebore Botes. Ashley Steven Adinall is my neef aan vaderskant~Jan Botes. Stevens se ma se naam was Betty en sy pa was Steven. Enige iemand wat weet wat van hom geword het laat my asb weet. 0767207445. Whatsapp. Baie baie dankie

  20. Hi I’m Peter Badenhorst, appearing as PETER B, solo, on guitar and vocals, with backtrax, in the Jo’burg & Pretoria area. I’m an ex Rhodie, and played bass in a band called The Establishment, in Gwelo. Our vocalist then (1964 to1969) was a guy called Steve(Lofty) Hughes, who delivered a magnificent rendition of Cry to me. I have just learnt it again, this time as a vocalist, by request from some of my followers. At 70 years of age, it has not been easy, but I’m told it sounds OK. (in Ab) I wonder if Steve Lonsdale is still singing it, and in what key now?
    Great reading all about the Staccatos.

  21. Steve Ashley, the lead singer of the Staccatos is the BEST vocal singer of all times… please go to his FACEBOOK page and say hello to him… he would LOVE to hear from old and new fans…

  22. If anyone is able to give me Steve Lonsdales address that would be appreciated, we were at school together meny meny yrs ago and sang together at a Rand Easter Show. Would be great to catch up.

  23. I see the last post is December 16th 2014. Well to today it’s the 16th of December 2015 and i was having a chat to Sreve Ashley on the 15th at Hippos Waterfront in Brakpan.

  24. Contact Steve Ashley on Facebook.. he is on solo..

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