Fortes Mentum Mark l Musicians
Ronald Regan - Bass Player
Frank Bennett - Vocals
Barry Clark - Lead Guitar
Alan Ward - Organist
Keith Giles - Drums /Vocals
Danny Beckerman Deceased - Piano/Song Writer
Fortes Mentum Mark ll Musicians
Rod Creasy -Organ
Bob Flag (ex Riot Squad - Sax/Flute/Song Writer
Stuart Wicks - Organ
Tony McGill - Lead - Guitar ( just found him!)
Paul Coles - Lead Guitar (Germany only)
Here are some photos, past and present but there are lots more on the Gallery page.
Danny is well documented on the net but sadly died of lung cancer before I made this site. There are many stories about Danny but his involvement with Fortes Mentum is on here.
Click on the Fortes Mentum page or Google 'Danny Beckerman' for further information about Danny's remarkable career after he left Fortes Mentum.
Ron is now 65 (Feb 2012) and has never left showbusiness! When Fortes Mentum finally finished around 1970 he went on to form The Balloon and Banana Band with Bob Flag. This was a zany comedy/music group appearing mostly in Fringe Theatre. They became Nuts & Bolts when they got in ex Nitwits professor Tony Traversi. This line up lasted for around a year or so until Bob left and Ron got in Cyril Lagey (also ex Nitwits) and Howie Morgan. The act become part of British comedy folklore history. For over thirty years they performed all over the world and after a two year stint in America with Barnum & Bailey in 2001 they came back to London. Howie and Cyril had died before the USA job and then Tony died in 2002 so Ron decided to concentrate on the family property business, but not for long! From being 'the baby' of Nuts & Bolts, Ron is now 'the daddy' in The London Philharmonic Skiffle Orchestra - a wonderfully zany and refreshing comedy/musical team, and guess what? - travelling the world again! Ron is married to ME! a fellow performer Maggie Regan, has two children and five grandchildren all of whom are showing nanny and grandad's performing flair!
Ron with The LPSO www.lpso.co.uk
See Ron with Nuts & Bolts on
& with Lovelock (trio) on
Frank Bennett is still entertaining the crowds, and is one of
the greatest singers around. He appears regularly at venues across the UK and did a spot at Rons birthday party in London where he was a big hit. Frank has toured with lots of 'names' including David Bowie, Gene Vincent, Jeff Beck, Johnny Kidd, Ritchie Blackmoore, Kenny Lynch etc., Frank also works with his wife in business and is generally in good health and wealth! He is a lovely man and very, very funny. Asked to describe himself in two words, Frank replies 'vain bastard' He is also keen to revive Fortes Mentum! Whadya think?
Check out our comments page where there is a lovely story from Franks wife.
Keith Giles is still very much involved in music. He lives in Croyde where he works as a masseur and is a very keen surfer. He plays with local bands and mentors promising young musicians in the area. He likes to spend quite a few months of the year in Australia where his son and family live and here below is a pic of him now - still looking super cool! to be cont/,,,,,
Alan is the lovely joker who is always sending funny emails and jokes! He is married with one son and two grandchildren. Clever lad our Alan, he works as part of a design team designing oil rigs and drill ships but his hobby is still very much music! After Fortes Mentum, Alan joined Creola Music with Barry and a couple of other bands but in his words, when his son came along it was time to 'settle down' However he still plays with various local bands. He hasn't changed a bit! (all the old girls still think he was the best looking! sshh!!)
Barry now lives in the USA and is still in the music business! He owns a very popular and successful retail business selling musical instruments as well as playing them over in Wisconsin. We met up recently in Las Vegas and had a really lovely time with him and his wife. More about Barry when he sends me his memories!
Bob and his wife share their time between homes in London and Japan so trying to tie him down is almost impossible! Although Bob is still a very keen musician, he has fingers in many pies! He is over seventy now but he and Ron are still close pals who see each other when they can. Bob is acedemic and he very cleverly is translating his wife Takae's book from Japanese to English (well I can do that! Geordie to English nee problem like!) Anyway these two brainboxes are well and still in the public eye. Bob is also writing a book on his life in the music and entertainment business so we wait with great curiosity to see who sues him first! Only joking! Bob has never been one to mince words but he really is an amazingly interesting character so his writings should be explosive! Hurry up Bob!
In May 2009 we received a lovely e mail from Tony McGill. I was amazed to hear from him because my old man has the memory of an elephant and for the first time in all the years I've known him he actually slipped up and omitted Tony from his memoirs! How could he??! I showed him Tony's e mail and he did a great cartoon-slap of the forehead and it all came back to him! After his stint with Fortis, Tony went on to play with some other great bands! 'Autumn-Music' was an early collaboration with Ian Murray (Becket) and Neil Peart (Rush) playing gigs at such memorable venues as the Marquee and the Greyhound. After that he joined 'Second Hand' who also recorded under the name 'Chillum' I am reliably informed that their albums are very collectable and are selling for big bucks so if you have any in your collection you are in luck! During the late 70's and early 80's Tony did quite a bit of session work for various companies such as Warner Brothers, Mushroom Records, Arista and Virgin and also played with a band called 'Alaska' which had a minor hit record on the Warner label. During this time he became deeply involved in composition and started writing pieces for Radio and TV. In the early ninties Tony studied 'Composing For Film' with Amit Sen and then became an enthusiastic part time lecturer in Composition and Musicianship for music training organisation Access To Music. He taught at West Herts College and after receiving a Cert Ed from the University of Greenwich he became the Head of Music at the college. Clever lad our Tony!!! In 2007 he gave up teaching to concentrate on composition and is currently working on an album of his own compositions. Tony has promised to keep us informed as to the release date and also of his future exploits. Other musicians Tony has worked with are: Jim Labaigue (Dreamtime) William Murray (Kevin Ayers/Amazing Blondel/Paul Kossoff) John McCoy (Gillan Band) Barry Blue (producer) Derrick Griffiths (Actor/Musician) Lol Coxhill.
Wth Vic Keary
Paul ColesPaul Coles lives with his wife near Dover, they have four grown up kids and seven grandchildren. Paul is very interested in music theory and at present is studying guitar. We are trying to persuade him to get into computing so that he can Google Fortes Mentum, but Paul is so deeply into his music he will not be swayed! I dont see much chance in getting an up to date photograph from him as he is so busy. But he is still very much one of the band of brothers.
Rod Creasy is another member of Fortes Mentum who has sadly passed away. In the words of Rod's father, 'Rod led a bit of an unproductive life' but he produced lovely children. Ron spoke to Rod shortly before he died in 2005 and he sounded very upbeat. He wasn't working but had said he was playing guitar which he now preferred to keyboards, and that he was taking it easy. There is a lovely story from Jo Bennett on the contact and comment page about Rods son.