Mike and the Beavers
L to R: Richard Nicholson, John Croot, Dave Duffel, and Mike Reilly.
John Reilly (Lead Guitar)
Mike Reilly (Rhythm Guitar)
John Fox (Drums)
Allan Duffel (Bass Guitar)
Mike and the Beavers were formed in 1961 in Wellington. They were mostly seen around the youth club circuit of the Hutt Valley and Wellington. The early days saw a number of line-up changes, mainly with the bass guitar and drum positions. John Fox was the first to go and he was replaced by a Gary, (his surname has not been recorded), and he was subsequently replaced by Dave Duffel on drums. Allan Duffel left and was replaced by Mac Anderson, and then Richard Nicholson on bass guitar.
In 1964, the group changed its name to the Big Four, and at the same time John Reilly left, to be replaced by John Croot on lead guitar and vocals. John Croot would later spend time with the Zodiacs. Late in 1966, Mike Reilly left and was replaced by Graham Bishop on keyboards. Forever looking for a better sound, Ray Hewlett was added on sax, but with the line-up not really working, Richard Nicholson left, to be replaced by Jim Cooper on bass.
Once again it didn't really work, so the band folded at the end of 1966. Dave Duffel then had a short stint with the Survivors.
Out of all the combinations came Dave Duffel, Richard Nicholson, John Croot and Graham Bishop, whom formed a band called The Group in 1967.
John Reilly later joined Hogsnort Rupert in the late sixties.
New Zealand Music