Nightwing at the Reading Festival 1981

Nightwing 1982

Nightwing 1982

Nightwing 1983

Gordon Rowley - after Strife

Just as "Back to Thunder" was released, I suffered a heart attack. After a few months, I returned and played a few gigs but could not continue gigging as we had always done. It was over. I went to L.A. and stayed with Don Gouch. (Engineer on "Rush") We worked on sessions together - engineer and bass player! I soon picked up work as an engineer myself and ended up at Rudy Records (Graham Nash's studio) working on CSNY's "Daylight Again" album and the "No Nukes" concert/album. It was great fun but, feeling stronger I wanted to play "live" again. I was starting to get a band together, when I was asked to join "Rainbow". We had one rehearsal, but I realised that I wanted my own band. "Nightwing" was formed soon afterwards, and the first album was released in 1980, with Graham Nash's "Barrel of Pain" pulled as a single. We then toured on our own, and also as support for "Rainbow"! Our second album, "Black Summer" was released in 1982, and was very well received - particularly in Eastern Europe, where we toured regularly. Further albums followed, "Stand up and be Counted" 1983, "My Kingdom Come" 1984, and finally "A Night of Mystery - Alive, Alive!" 1985.
Del Bonham (Stray) and I had talked about playing together ever since we met, and we went into the studio with Steve Bartley on drums and recorded an album as "Razorback". We played a couple of gigs, but my heart/circulation problems returned and put a stop to touring. Steve Bartley has put his recollections down here.
I continued to work as an engineer and producer, mainly in the US. In the late 1980's, Strife reformed for a few gigs - it was great to see so many friends again. Soon after this, I was hospitalised again - this time with cancer. After a while, I realised that I could spend more of my time following another of my interests - horses, and organised horse shows in this country and throughout Europe. Nightwing reformed for one last album, "Natural Survivors", in 1996.

Since then, Gordon's health has deteriorated. In 2003 his circulation problems became so bad that he had to have a leg amputated. He continues to fight the diseases that have followed him over the years. As he said to me recently, "Every day, when I wake up, I say to myself "Great - another day!"" Long may he keep saying that.

The Klubbs Re-union 2001
John Reid-After Strife

It was December 1978. We had not long released the "Back to Thunder" album. Nothing was happening - no real promotion. I opened my rock club "The gallery", in Birkenhead, on the 21st December. I was 30 on 25th December, and my first child Tony was born on the 30th. I thought if I was ever going to give up playing in bands, after 15 years, now was the time. So I did. I kept the Gallery for 3 years, during which time I opened up 2 off licences as well as having my first daughter Kelly. I decided that coming home at 3 or 4 o'clock every morning, like I had been since I was about 15, was no longer what I wanted - so the club went. I then carried on and opened up 2 more off licences, and had 2 more daughters, Charlotte and Amanda. After 10 years in the off licence business I saw the writing on the wall, with the supermarkets getting more and more into selling booze. I decided to start winding my business down by selling off two of the shops. I invested some of the proceeds into property in Spain, and found that I really enjoyed the property business, and started working in partnership with an estate agent in Marbella. This business has developed now to the point where I have just sold another one of my shops to go and work more in Spain. At this point in time, I believe this is my future for my old age - having just passed 53. My music career was briefly resurrected in 1999. Somebody, in their wisdom, decided to release an album "Midnight Love Cycle", which was a mish-mash of old demos from my very first band in 1964, called "the Klubbs". This album was duly voted "Album of the Year" by "Record Collector" magazine, which led to a reunion gig at the Cavern. I had not played with these guys for some 34 years! They then released it on CD, which resulted in me having to write a new song to make up the running time- so I suppose I can still do it if I really try. However, I have to be realistic and I must call it a day. 23 years of lifting cases of beer day after day have taken their toll. Arthritis in my fingers has started to set in, and I have recently been diagnosed with angina. It really is time to hang up my guitar and leave it to my son Tony to carry it all on for me.

Paul in the "Moodmakers" era

Paul Ellson - After Strife

Since leaving Strife, I've been involved in a wide range of projects and activities:- I became a family man in 1977, but continued in the music business - as a session musician. I was even hired to play on an up-and-coming country singers first tour! After three years, I teamed up with Gordon again - playing on the first "Nightwing" album and their first tour. In the early 80's I built handmade drum shells and kits - selling them to the trade. The mid-80's saw me as Chairman and co-founder of a school in Skelmersdale. I also became involved in electronics, and then became a marketing consultant, mainly for IT companies. In my spare time I played drums for local Lancashire trio "Moodmakers". At one of these gigs, I was asked if I had ever seen Strife? - because I had a similar style to their drummer! The 1990's saw me working for TV, and also as an author and editor of books. I am now a regional MD for a US technology corporation. - I'm still a big music fan - playing some guitar, tablas, even crystal bowls etc.! (I've also got some close family links to "Gomez")

Dave Williams

Dave Williams - Life After Strife

I originally joined Strife as Paulís drum roadie in 1977. I took over as drummer after he left later that year. Up until that time I had been working my way up through the ranks with several bands in the Liverpool area, seemingly playing every pub, club and social club in existence. 1975 saw me living on a converted coach touring up and down the east coast of England appearing at Butlins and yet another never ending list of working menís clubs in the Newcastle area. The list of headliners I opened for such as Bob Monkhouse, Frankie Howard and Ted Rogers was a far cry from what Strife was experiencing at that time. However, I always remained hopeful that one day I would get a break, remove my bow tie and play some real music. That day came when an old school friend, who was a roadie for Strife, introduced me to the band.
My stint as Paulís roadie proved to be an invaluable training tool not only for learning the songs, but also for becoming familiar with some of the venues and more importantly, so many of the loyal fans. I was nervous at first that I wouldnít be accepted, but despite only having one bass drum and a different style of playing than Paul, I was warmly welcomed.
Next came some great gigs, tours and the Back To Thunder album. Somewhere in between Gordon was hospitalized, punk rock started taking over, our new manager didnít manage us very well and then, in January 1979, it was over. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. So, not wanting to become a punk or return to Butlins, at the ripe old age of 25, I made the decision to quit music altogether. I sold my drums and in 1980 after a few months in Germany, set sail for a new adventure in America.
I hooked up with Gordon in Hollywood later that year, he and Kenny Newton formerly of Nutz, had come over to record and rehearse for his new band Nightwing. I played drums at few rehearsals and did a concert with them at Anaheim Stadium and that was the last time I played with Gordon.
I stayed in the Hollywood. L.A. area for about a year till I received a call from a friend in Palm Springs who wanted me to meet an original band there called The Toyz. I went there for the weekend and was so impressed with these two guys that I bought another set of drums and moved back to Palm Springs the next week. The music was very new wave/pop with an attitude. We played, recorded and knocked on doors for a couple of years, but after not getting signed with a major label we called it quits.
I didnít play again for several years. When I did pick up my sticks again, it was just part time , no more pressure of trying to make the big time. I had also started to play guitar, keyboards and write music and was having a lot of fun in the process.
I eventually put my bow tie back on and started playing with a piano player who kicked bass with his left hand (sorry Gord!) and a sax player at some of the resort hotels in the Palm Springs area and in Hawaii. I did that for about three years. Then I worked For about five years with another Palm Springs corporate party band called New Sensations. Last time I checked I was still on their web site I gave up my seat in that band in 2003. I havenít played since. Now my drums are packed away in my garage. But I still have them just in case..
My real job has been in the air conditioning and heating business for many years. Palm Springs is a desert so, I help people keep cool. Speaking of helping people, I am also an executive board member of The Tour De Palm Springs, a charity bicycle ride which has been raising money for local charities for the last eight years, I have been so blessed in my life that it is nice to give a little back.

These days my spare time is mostly spent enjoying my family. My wife Evelyn and I like to be with the kids as much as we can before they grow up and go their own way.
I am very proud of my work with Strife. I will always have great memories of performing at such a high level, and being appreciated for it. Not to mention almost becoming famous!
I would like to thank all of you who still remember Strife and have written in or requested the albums on CD. Thanks to Paul for my opportunity. My prayers and positive thoughts go out to Gordon Rowley and my special thanks to John Reid who continues to work making Strifeís music available. Lets rock onÖÖÖÖ..

David Williams