Baby You Can Drive My Car

So after the failure of Baby Never Say Goodbye, their third single, to sell in significant numbers, this in spite of its general critical acclaim, the Bo Street Runners moved into their final phase. A chapter that was to see, once again, fundamental changes in the line up.

Shortly after Mick's departure singer John Dominic decided that he'd had enough of the ups and downs, by this time mainly downs, of the music business and to return to the world of advertising. At the same time keeping an interest in the group as co-manager.


Losing the front man and driving force behind the group could have spelt the end for the Bo Street Runners had they not recently played a Saturday night gig at a remote village hall in rural Norfolk. Supporting the band that night had been a local group, 'The News', fronted by a singer who had an exceptional voice and magnetic stage presence. By a lucky chance Tim, the Bo Street Runners' keyboard player, had exchanged phone numbers with the East Anglian vocalist so that when faced with replacing John Dominic the remaining members of the group unanimously decided to contact him.
So Michael McCarthy, better known as Mike Patto came up to london, was auditioned, and offered the role of lead singer for the Bo Street Runners.
This wasn't Mike's first foray into the world of professional music. In 1964 he had compered an RnB package tour that had included the Moody Blues, Long John Baldry and that had been headlined by Chuck Berry. He had also done some work with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
With Mike came his long time friend and musical sidekick drummer Barry Wilson and so the final Mk VII version of the group was born; see Family Tree Another change at this time was for the band to sign a new management deal this time with Stephen Komlosy, an associate of the Robert Stigwood agency.


But by now with the 'Ready Steady Win' legacy long spent and with their run of bad luck in producing a big selling record the group were finding it harder to find work and the gigs that did come in were barely providing even a basic living wage. The winter of 1965 was a bleak one for the group.
The answer, of course, was to try to record another single and hope for its success with the public. So in the Spring of 1966 Colombia Records finally agreed to produce and release their fourth single.
Around this time several bands had found success by recording cover versions of Lennon/McCartney songs and this, in the hope of reaching a wider audience, was the route that the Bo Street Runners went down. The Beatles' current album was 'Revolver' and one of the tracks, with its RnB feel, had already attracted the group's interest. This was the soulful 'Baby You Can Drive My Car'.
The track was recorded and with it's B-side, the jazzy 'She's So Very Woman', duly released in April. Sadly with very little interest from the music press and no other media coverage the record failed to make any impact.
Undeterred the Bo Street Runners ploughed along rewardlessly and, with regular appearences at London's Marquee Club, slowly building their reputation amongst the fans of soul and RnB. One of their last gigs was at the Marquee Club, on the 15th September. A month later the group ran out of steam and broke up.

External Links Mike Patto biog. Article 'Teen Scene' Mike Patto Story Marquee Club calender

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