Paul Butler keeps us up to date:

It was not long after Paul submitted his version of the history of Del and the Falcons on this site earlier this year, that he was contacted, via Stan Laundon, by Pete Embleton (Del) and after a couple of emails they decided that they should meet.

Pete said that he had contact details for Malcolm and Merv and so the ball started to roll. Malcolm then said he could get in touch with Keith Craggs (our driver/ roadie ) and so after a few weeks of “can’t make that date because…etc” we managed to find a suitable date to meet, only to find that we’d got it wrong and Merv would still be on his long holiday in Portugal!

Del & The Falcons on October 20th, 2015 with Pete Embleton, Paul Butler, Malcolm Willis and Merv Jones.

The story continues: Having decided that 4 out of 5 of us turning out for the first meeting was not too bad, we went ahead anyway, choosing to meet at Preston Park as it was most central. We all turned up feeling a bit apprehensive, wondering what we would talk about, but it was quite astonishing as we clicked back into friendly banter without any delays, talking as though we’d not seen each other for a few weeks instead of over 40 years, and we just sat, drank coffee and talked for well over four hours.

It’s not an original quote, but oh so true that: There were some things from the past that we had done that we remembered. There were some things from the past that we had done that some of us didn’t remember, and there were some things from the past that some of us thought we remembered…but others thought we hadn’t done!

Merv Jones on drums.

We decided to meet again as soon as Merv returned. The second meeting was as long as the first and having discovered that we all still were playing our respective instruments, the inevitable “should we play together again” was mentioned and agreed upon without hesitation! Merv said he knew where there was a studio that we could use and as we agreed that we did not want to perform (been there, done it, loved it and will leave it in the past) the only question was “what would we, should we, could we play?" Just “stuff” from the past was the general agreement.

So we got together again in October 2015 at the Pig Pen Studio near Elwick just off the A19. We’d already made a rough list of songs from the past and so we plugged in, set-up, counted four in, and started to play Chuck Berry’s "Memphis Tennessee" as though we’d not played it since last week!

Paul Butler on guitar with Malcolm Willis on bass.

We then spent the next three hours reviving the past, still talking a lot but playing plenty of stuff as well. It was absolutely astonishing that we were able to just play together again without any difficulties. We have all played with many musicians over the last 40+ years and so clearly have gained a lot of experience, but it felt so good to just click back together with the guys with whom it all started!

We ranged from discussions based around, “Are you sure we did that one in the past?” to Pete remembering, not only some particular songs in detail, but the actual venue where we first played them!

We met again in November 2015 and extended our material to “new stuff” (songs that we’d not played in the past) and once again it was another three hours of magic. And it would seem that this is just the beginning of Part 2…

The 2015 version of Del and The Falcons taken when they all met after 49 years! They are, left to right, Pete Embleton, Merv Jones, Paul Butler and Malcolm Willis. Paul Butler says: "It was thanks to making contact following the articles about us on your website." He added: "You will notice that both Malcolm and Merv have not read the rules about hair loss as one gets older! "Thankfully we have all retained our sense of humour and are trawling through our memories to dig out many, many stories!" More meetings are planned so watch this space.

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