The Story of The Arrows

Related: Miami, Dickie's Band, Heartbeats

The formation of the Arrows was announced by writer Pat Egan in his Beat column in Spotlight in February 1969. Singer Eamonn Gibney had left Purple Pussycat to join a showband to be managed by the Tom Doherty Organisation, which would be called the Arrows. An article a month later described the band as "protégés" of the Miami and that they would be managed by former Miami leader Joe Tyrell, who was a Director of Miami Ltd. The beat scene in Dublin was being decimated by the defection of its stars to the showband scene. Although it is doubtful they complained much as those that went finally started making some real money, although they generally gave up some of their artistic integrity in the process. P.J. Coyne, formerly with the Grassband, was recruited as drummer with the new outfit.

Irish-American singer Dave Heenan joined the band in summer, 1969, but left after a few weeks to return to the United States. He was replaced in September, 1969 by Mick Roche who had previously been with Dublin group, The Vampires (they also lost lead singer Tony Kenny to the Sands showband a couple of years earlier).

In January 1972, the band added two female singers, Wendy Hutchinson who was sister-in-law of John Farrell and had been a dancer on the Go 2 Show (RTE) and Maria Dowdall, bringing their line-up to nine, one of the largest on the circuit at the time. In June, 1972, not long after the girls joined, the band headed on to Canada for a six week tour, but came back without their lead singer, Mick Roche. Mick decided to stay in Canada with Dublin Corporation (formerly The Pacific) who had been based there since 1971. He was taking over from Stuart Smith who was temporarily filling in after the departure of Peter Law, who had left the band. Peter came back to Ireland and was trying to make it on the cabaret scene (Peter died in 2017, R.I.P.).

 A couple of months later, in September, 1972 Dickie Rock announced he was leaving the Miami and the Arrows were drafted as his new backing band. The Arrows became Dickie's Band. In April, 1973, Fran Dennis left the band.  

Town/Village/County: Dublin

Lead Vocals: Mick Roche / Eamonn Gibney / Wendy Hutchison / Maria Dowdall
Lead Guitar:
Charlie Herbert
2nd Guitar:
Stephen Gilchrist
Johnny Reilly
Sax/Guitar: Bobby Murphy / Paddy Devine
Fran Dennis
P.J. Coyne
Pierce Turner
Joe Tyrell / Harry Holt / Larry Lohan (Topline)

Selected Discography

1969 - Mercy / See Saw - Target 7N 17756
1970 - One Step Two Step / Sinbad The Sailor - Release RL 551
1971 - My Woman, My Woman, My Wife / Bye Bye Baby - Ruby RUB 27
1971 - Let's Fall In Love Again / Ra-Ta-Tat - Ruby RUB 145
1972 - Jenny Bye Bye /  Good Night, Good Morning - Play PLAY 34

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